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BX  7236  .W3  1893 
Walker,  Williston,  1860-192 
The  creeds  and  platforms  of 
Congregationalism 


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THE 

CREEDS  AND  PLATFORMS 

OF 

CONGREGATIONALISM 


BY 

WILLISTON    WALKER,    Ph.D. 

PROFESSOR   IN   HARTFORD   THEOLOGICAL  SEMINARY 


NEW    YORK 

CHARLES    SCRIBNER'S   SONS 

1893 


Copyright,  1S93,  by  Williston  Walker. 


Press  of  The  Case,  Lockwood  &"  Brainard  Company,  Hart/ord,   Conn. 


TO   MY   FATHER 

GEORGE   LEON   WALKER 

WHOSE    INTEREST 

IN  CONGREGATIONAL  HISTORY   FIRST   A\VAKENED   MY  DESIRE 

TO   KNOW   SOMETHING   OF 

Congregational  Greeks  anJ)  platforms 

AND   WHOSE   SYMPATHY 

HAS   ENCOURAGED   ME  THROUGHOUT   THESE  STUDIES 

THIS   VOLUME 

IS  AFFECTIONATELY   DEDICATED 


PREFACE 

CONGREGATIONALISM  has  always  accorded  large  liberty 
to  local  churches  in  their  interpretation  of  doctrine  and 
polity.  Its  creeds  are  not  exclusively  binding,  and  its  platforms 
have  always  been  held  to  be  open  to  revision.  They  have  been 
witnesses  to  the  faith  and  practice  of  the  churches  rather  than 
tests  for  subscription.  But  by  reason  of  this  liberty  a  collection 
of  Congregational  creeds  and  platforms  illustrates  the  history  of 
the  body  whose  expressions  they  are  better  than  if  those  symbols 
were  less  readily  amended.  The  points  wherein  they  agree  may 
therefore  confidently  be  believed  to  set  forth  that  which  is 
abiding  in  the  faith  and  practice  of  the  churches,  while  the 
features  of  change  and  the  traces  of  discussion  of  more  tem- 
porary importance  which  these  creeds  and  platforms  exhibit 
illustrate  as  clearly  that  which  is  mutable  in  our  ecclesiastical 
life.  It  is  because  the  writer  deems  such  a  collection  of  prime 
value  in  illuminating  the  history  of  Congregationalism  that  this 
compilation  has  been  made. 

This  volume  has  grown  out  of  the  experiences  of  the  class- 
room. In  his  endeavors  to  teach  the  story  of  Congregation- 
alism the  writer  has  been  hindered  at  all  points  by  the  inaccessi- 
bility of  much  of  the  material  which  must  be  before  the 
student  or  the  minister  if  a  knowledge  of  denominational 
history  is  to  be  more  than  second  hand.  He  has  therefore 
collected  the  most  important  Congregational  creeds  and  plat- 
forms, and  has  illustrated  them  as  far  as  he  is  able  by  such 
historic  notes  and  comments  as  may  serve  to  make  the  circum- 
stances of  their  composition  and  their  meaning  plain.  He  has 
had  in  mind  the  necessities  of  the  general  reader  whose  knowl- 
edge of  the  sources  of  our  denominational  history  is  rudimentary, 
and  has  endeavored  to  point  out  with  the  utmost  plainness  the 
basis  of  every  important  statement,  and  to  indicate  the  literature 
of  each  symbol,  hoping  that  by  this  fullness  of  annotation  the 
student    may   find     his    way    comparatively    readily    should     he 

(V) 


VI  PREFACE 

desire  to  make  a  minute  study  of  Congregational  beliefs  and 
usages. 

In  reproducing  these  symbols  the  writer  has  reprinted  the 
text  of  the  earliest  editions  known  to  him  to  be  extant.  He 
has  endeavored  faithfully  to  reproduce  the  spelling  and  punctua- 
tion, and  even  the  misprints,  deeming  that  the  dress  in  which 
these  documents  were  presented  to  the  world,  sometimes  by 
persecuted  congregations  and  with  the  scantiest  resources,  is 
of  value  in  forming  our  estimate  of  the  impression  which  they 
were  calculated  to  produce  on  their  time.  That  the  writer  has 
wholly  avoided  misprints  of  his  own  in  this  reproduction  he 
hardly  dares  to  hope, —  he  has  used  great  pains  so  to  do;  — 
but  he  trusts  that  before  the  reader  condemns  an  illprinted 
passage  it  may  be  compared  with  the  original  to  see  if  the  fault 
was  not  that  of  the  earliest  printer. 

The  writer  is  under  obligation  to  many  scholars  for  sugges- 
tions, but  he  would  especially  acknowledge  his  indebtedness  to 
the  librarians  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society  at  Worces- 
ter, the  Public  Library  at  Boston,  the  Connecticut  Historical 
Society  and  Watkinson  Library  at  Hartford,  the  Massachusetts 
Historical  Society  at  Boston,  and  of  Yale  University,  for  the 
access  which  they  have  afforded  him  to  the  treasures  in  their 
custody. 

This  volume  is  sent  forth  with  the  hope  that  it  may  serve 
to  make  easier  the  pathway  to  a  knowledge  of  Congregational 
history,  and  may  illustrate  the  essential  unity  as  well  as  the 
healthful  growth  which  has  marked  the  development  of  creed 
and  practice  from  the  founders  of  Congregationalism  to  our 
own  day. 

Hartford,  Conn.,  July  ij,  ^S^j 


CONTENTS 


III. 


IV. 


IX. 


Robert  Browne's  St.\tement  ok  Congreg.\tional  Prin- 
ciples, 15S2,     

Extracts  from  Browne's  Works,         .  .         .         .         . 


II.     The     First     Confession 
Church,  1589, 
Text  of  the  Confession, 


OF    THE     London-Amsterdam 


The    Second    Confession     of 
Church,  1596, 
Text  of  the  Confession,     . 


the    London-Amsterdam 


The  Points  of  Difference   between  Congregationalism 
and  the  Church  of  England,  1603,     . 
Text  of  the  Points,  ........ 

V.     The  Seven.  Articles  of  1617  and  the   Mayflower  Com- 
pact OF  1620, 

Text  of  the  Articles,  ....... 

Text  of  the  Compact,        ....... 

VI.     The    Development    of    Covenant    and    Creed    in    the 

Salem  Church,  1629-1665, 

Texts  of  the  Covenants  of  1629  and  1636, 

The  Anti-Quaker  Article  of  1 660-1, 

Text  of  the  Direction  of  1665,  ..... 

VII.     The   Covenant   of   the   Charlestown-Boston   Church, 

1630 

Text  of  the  Covenant,        ....... 

VIII.     Hooker's  Summary  of  Congregational  Principles,  1645, 
Extracts  from  the  "Survey,"     .... 


The  Windsor  Creed-Covenant,   1647, 
Text  of  the  Covenant, 


X.  The  Camhrhjge  Synod  and  Platform,  1646-1648, 
Extracts  from  the  Tentative  Conclusions  of  1646, 
Preface  and  Text  of  the  Platform,    . 

XI.  The  Half-Way  Covenant  Decisions  of  1657  and  1662, 
E.xtracts  from  the  Result  of  1657,  ..... 
Text  of  the  Conclusions  of  1662,      ..... 

(vii) 


1-27 
1 8-2  7 

28-40 
33-40 

41-74 
49-74 

75-80 
77-80 

81-92 

89*90 

92 

93-122 

116-118 

118 

iig-122 

123-131 
131 
132-148 
143-148 
149-156 
154-156 

157-237 
189-193 
194-237 

238-339 
288-300 

301-339 


Vlll 
XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 
XV. 

XVL 

XVII. 

XVIII. 

XIX. 

XX. 


CONTENTS 

The  Savoy  Declaration,  1658, 

Preface,     .......... 

Text  of  the  Confession,    ....... 

The  Platform  of  Polity,    ....... 

The    "Reforming   Synod"   of   1679-1680,  and   its   Con- 
fession OF  Faith, 

Text  of  the  "Necessity  of  Reformation," 

Preface  to  the  Confession,         ...... 

Text  of  the  Confession  (Savoy  Confession  and  notes). 

The   "  Heads   of   Agreement,"  1691,    and   other   Union 
Efforts  of  the  Seventeeth  Century, 
Extracts  from  the  Agreement  of  1656, 
Preface  and  text  of  the  "Heads,"    . 


The   Massachusetts   Proposals  of  1705, 
brook  Platform  of  1708, 
Text  of  the  Proposals, 
Prefaces  to  the  Saybrook  Result, 
Text  of  the  Platform, 


The  "Plan  of  Union,"  1801, 
Text  of  the  Plan.     . 


AND     THE     SaY- 


The  English  Declaration  of  1833, 
Text  of  the  Declaration,  . 

The   "Burial   Hill"  Declaration   of 'Faith 
Statement  of  Principles  of  Polity,  i 
Text  of  the  Declaration,  .... 
Text  of  the  Statement,     .... 

The  Constitution  of  the  National  Council, 
LIN  Declaration,  1871,  . 
Text  of  the  Constitution, 
Text  of  the  Declaration,  .... 


The  "Commission"  Creed  of  1883, 
Text  of  the  Creed,   . 


AND   THE 
865, 


Ober- 


Index, 


PAGE 
34O-40S 

354-367 
367-402 
403-408 

409-439 
423-437 

438,  439 
367-402 

440-462 

453,454 
455-462 

463-523 
486-490 

517-523 
503-506 

524-541 
530, 531 

542-552 
548-552 

553-569 
562-564 
567,  56S 

570-576 
572-574 

575,576 

577-584 
580-5S2 

585-604 


I 

ROBERT     BROWNE'S     STATEMENT     OF    CONGRE- 
GATIONAL   PRINCIPLES,    1582 

Tkxt 

I.  A  Booke  I  li'liich  Shcweth  the  \  life  am/  iiiauncrs  of  all  true  Christians,  \ 
ami  hoiuf  vnlikc  they  are  vnio  Turkes  and  Papistes,  \  and  Heathen  folke.  \  Also 
the  pointes  and  partes  of  all  ditii-  \  nitie,  that  is  of  the  reuealed  will  and  zuorde  of 
God,  are  \  declared  by  tJieir  seuerall  Definitions,  \  and  Diuisions  in  order  as  \  fol- 
loii<eth.  I  Robert  Browne.  \  Middelbvrgh,  \  Imprinted  by  Richarde  Painter.  \  1^82. 
\^,  pp.  III. 

II.  A  few  of  the  sections,  extracted  from  Browne's  work,  are  given  in  Ilan- 
bury,  Historical  Memorials  Relating  to  the  Independents,  etc.,  London  1S39,  ^-  -0~ 
22;  in  Fletcher,  History  .  .  .  of  Independency,  London  1862,  II:  114-117; 
and  in  Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  Boston  [1867],  III:   14-17. 

Literature 

The  works  of  Hanbury,  Fletcher,  and  Punchard,  above  cited;  [Waddington], 
Historical  Papers,  London  1861,  pp.  33-48;  Waddington,  Congregational  History, 
i^dy-ijoo,  London  1874,  p.  16  ;  Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  A'civ  England  Churches, 
New  York  1874,  pp.  81-90;  Browne,  History  of  Congregationalism  .  .  .  in 
A'orfolk  and  Suffolk,  London  1877,  chs.  I-III;  Dexter,  The  Congregationalism  of 
the  last  three  htindred years,  as  seen  in  its  Literature,  New  York  1880,  pp.  61-12S. 

MODERN  Congregationalism  is  a  legitimate  outcome  of  a 
consistent  application  to  church  polity  of  the  principles  of 
the  Reformation.  The  fundamental  religious  thought  of 
that  movement  was  the  rejection  of  all  authority  save  that  of  the 
Word  of  God.  But,  while  this  cardinal  principle  was  recognized 
by  all  the  reformers,  there  was  great  variety  in  the  extent  to  which 
they  carried  its  application.  All  of  them  agreed  that  the  will  of 
God  had  prescribed  in  the  Bible  the  sufficient  test  of  Christian 
doctrine,  but  none  of  the  reformers  of  the  first  rank  felt  the  neces- 
sity of  a  complete  conformity  of  their  systems  of  church  polity  to 
the  same  standard.  The  paramount  importance  of  doctrinal  re- 
form, the  necessity  for  the  orderly  control  of  the  church  in  the 
trying  period  of  transition  from  its  ancient  form,  and  especially 
the  disorders  which  the  advent  of  ecclesiastical  freedom  excited 


2  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

among  the  lower  classes,  induced  Luther  and  Zwingli,  neither  of 
whom  were  organizers  by  nature,  to  put  aside  their  early  inclina- 
tions toward  the  substantially  Congregational  system'  which  they 
recognized  in  the  New  Testament  example,  in  favor  of  a  would-be 
temporary  dependence  on  the  civil  rulers  of  the  lands  in  which 
they  lived  for  the  organization  of  their  new  churches.  Calvin  was 
an  organizer,  and  though  he  sought  scripture  warrant  for  the  sys- 
tem which  he  established,  he  seems  to  have  been  led  to  its  adoption 
largely  by  the  necessities  of  his  position  in  the  foremost  outpost 
of  Protestantism  at  Geneva;  and  he  admitted,  on  one  occasion  at 
least,  that  his  eldership  was  primarily  a  device  of  expediency.^ 
And  if  these  men  did  not  fully  recognize  that  the  legitimate  out- 
come of  the  principles  of  the  Reformation  was  the  test  of  church 
government  as  well  as  Christian  doctrine  by  the  standard  of  the 
Bible,  this  truth  was  even  less  clearly  perceived  in  England,  where 
the  state  Establishment  which  was  the  outcome  of  the  Reforma- 
tion was  designedly  a  compromise,  in  which  a  large  portion  of  the 
ancient  government  and  ceremonial  was  retained,  and  in  which  the 
fountain  of  ecclesiastical  authority  was  the  sovereign. 

But  if  the  leaders  of  the  Reformation  thus  fell  short  of  a  full 
application  of  their  principles,  there  were  those  from  almost  the 
beginning  of  the  movement  who  sought  to  go  further.  These 
men,  nicknamed  usually  by  their  opponents  the  "Anabaptists,"' 
first  came  to  notice  about  1523-4"*  in  the  portions  of  Switzerland 
which  had  felt  the  reforming  touch  of  Zwingli.  Persecuted  at 
once  by  Protestants  and  Catholics,  they  were  dispersed  with  great 
rapidity  all  over  Germany  and  the  Netherlands  and  came  even  to 
England.*  They  were  drawn  chiefly  from  the  lower  orders  of  the 
population,  and  were  often  characterized  by  extreme  fanaticism. * 


1  See  inter  alia,  Gieseler,  Church  History,  ed.  New  York  1876,  IV:  518;  Fisher,  Reforma- 
tion, pp.  488-495;  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  51  ;  Schaff,  Hist.  0/  the  Christian  Church,  VI  :   538. 

"^  For  valuable  quotations  illustrative  of  this  point  see  Dexter,  Ibid.,  pp.  52,  53. 

3  I.  e.,  "  Re-baptizers,"  because  they  held  infant  baptism  no  baptism. 

♦  See  the  valuable  paper  of  Rev.  Dr.  Burrage,  A  nabaptists  0/  the  Sixteenth  Century, 
Papers  0/  the  Am.  Soc.  Church  Hist.,  Ill:  145-164.  Keller  in  his  suggestive  Die  Reformation 
und  die  dlteren  Reformparteien,  Leipzig  1885,  holds,  as  many  others  have  done,  the  Anabaptists 
to  be  successors  of  mediaeval  sects,  but  his  thesis  is  not  fully  proven. 

5  As  early  as  1535  fourteen  were  burned  in  one  year  in  England.  Executions  continued  un- 
der English  Protestant  sovereigns,  e.  g.  under  Elizabeth  in  1575,  and  James  in  1612. 

8  The  most  conspicuous  illustration  is  of  course  the  Miinster  anarchy,  1532-5. 


ANABAPTIST   PRINXIPLES  3 

But  the  fanatics  were  only  a  fraction  of  the  Anabaptists,  and  under 
the  lead  of  men  like  Menno  Simons,'  in  Holland  especially,  they 
settled  down  into  orderly  and  valuable  citizens.^  They  were 
everywhere  marked  by  a  desire  to  carry  the  principles  of  the 
Reformation  to  their  logical  outcome,  and  hence  they  tried  to  test 
not  only  doctrine  but  polity  and  Christian  life  by  the  same  rule. 
The  natural  tendency  of  men  to  put  differing  constructions  on  the 
same  facts  of  revelation,  increased  in  their  case  by  the  ignorance 
of  a  great  part  of  the  body  and  an  inclination  to  lay  stress  on  the 
direct  illumination  of  the  believers  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  led  to  diver- 
sities of  belief  among  them,  so  that  we  can  lay  down  no  rigid  creed 
for  the  Anabaptists  as  a  whole;  but  there  were  certain  features  in 
their  beliefs  which  appear  also  in  the  views  of  the  Baptists,  the 
Quakers,  and  the  Congregationalists.^ 

The  Protestant  bodies  founded  by  the  great  reformers  of  the 
sixteenth  century  were  all  at  one.  in  recognizing  every  baptized 
person,  residing  within  the  territories  where  they  were  established 
and  not  formally  excommunicate,  as  a  church  member.  Church 
and  state  were  practically  co-extensive.  Even  the  Puritans  of 
England,  who  labored  under  Elizabeth  for  the  purification  and  full 
Protestantizing  of  the  Establishment,  and  from  whom  the  majority 
of  early  Congregationalists  were  to  come,  held  to  the  church- 
membership  of  all  non-excommunicate  Englishmen,  and  looked 
upon  the  true  method  of  reform  as  a  vigorous  purging  from  within 
by  the  rigid  enforcement  of  discipline,  the  appointment  of  the 
officers  whom  they  believed  to  be  designated  in  the  Scripture 
model,  and  the  aid  of  civil  magistrates,  rather  than  a  separation 
from  the  national  church.^  The  Anabaptists,  on  the  other  hand, 
maintained  that  a  church  was  a  company  of  Christian  believers, 
gathered  out  of  the  world,^  to  which  men  were  admitted  by  con- 


'  '492-1559- 

^  See  the  articles  by  Prof,  de  Hoop  Scheffer  on  Menno  and  the  Mennonites  in  the  Herzog 
Rcal-Encyclopiidic  fiir  protestantische  Tkeologie,  Leipzig,  1881  (briefly  abridged  in  the  Schaff- 
Herzog,  Encycloptedia^  New  York  [1882]). 

'  This  relation  has  been  positively,  perhaps  too  positively,  insisted  upon  by  Campbell,  Puri- 
tan in  Holland,  England,  and  America,  New  York,  1892,  II:  177-209. 

■*  Compare  De.xter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  54-58.  Briggs,  American  Presbyter ianisin.  New 
York,  1885,  p.  43. 

*  For   the  doctrines  of   the  Anabaptists,  especially  the    Mennonite  branch,  which    had  the 


4  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

fession  and  baptism;  that  each  congregation  of  believers  should  be 
independent  of  all  external  control,  civil  or  ecclesiastical,  and  that 
the  civil  magistrate  had  no  authority  over  the  church;  that  no 
believer  should  bear  the  sword,  take  oath,  or  hold  the  office  of  a 
magistrate;  that  each  congregation  should  be  kept  pure  by  disci- 
pline, and  should  be  led  by  elders  chosen  by  itself,  who  should 
serve  it  without  compensation.  So  they  held  the  New  Testament 
pattern  of  a  Christian  church  to  require. 

Like  the  modern  Baptists,  the  Anabaptists  had  no  creeds  of 
general  binding  force.  Some  confessions  were  issued  by  indi- 
viduals and  congregations,  and  some  as  formulae  of  union  between 
various  branches  of  the  much  divided  body,  but  each  congregation 
accepted  or  rejected  what  it  chose.  In  general,  however,  the 
agreement  regarding  all  the  more  essential  features  of  doctrine 
and  polity  was  close.  A  few  extracts  from  the  popular  confession 
prepared  by  the  Mennonite  ministers  Hans  de  Ries  and  Lubbert 
Gerrits  for  the  benefit  of  the  one  time  Congregationalist  John 
Smyth  and  his  company  in  1609  at  Amsterdam,  —  a  confession 
based  on  and  representative  of  the  writings  of  the  older  Mennonite 
Anabaptists  and  widely  used  by  the  Mennonite  churches  of  Hol- 
land,—  may  serve  to  set  forth  some  of  these  beliefs  more  clearly:' 

"22.  Such  faithful,  righteous  people,  scattered  in  several  parts  of  the  world, 
being  the  true  congregations  of  God,  or  the  church  of  Christ,  whom  he  saved,  and 
for  whom  he  gave  himself,  that  he  might  sanctify  them,  ye  [yea]  whom  he  hath 
cleansed  by  the  washing  of  water  in  the  word  of  life  :  of  all  such  is  Jesus  the  Head, 
the  Shepherd,  the  Leader,  the  Lord,  the  King,  and  Master.  Now  although  among 
these  there  may  be  mingled  a  company  of  seeming  holy  ones,  or  hypocrites ;  yet, 
nevertheless,  they  are  and  remain  only  the  righteous,  true  members  of  the  body  of 


most  influence  in  Holland,  see  beside  the  articles  of  Prof,  de  Hoop  Scheffer,  before  cited ;  Barclay, 
Inner  Li/e  o/  the  Religious  Societies  o/  the  Coinmonivealtk,  London,  34  ed.,  1879,  pp.  75-92  • 
Dr.  Burrage,  Pafiers  Am.  Soc.  Ch.  Hist.,  Ill:  157;  Prof.  Schaff,  in  Baptist  Quarterly  Revie7u, 
July  1889.  Much  further  and  minuter  information  is  contained  in  the  works  of  the  Mennonite  his- 
torian, Hermann  Schyn,  Historia  Christianorum  Qui  in  Belgio  Foederato  inter  Protestantes 
Memionitce  appellantur,  Amsterdam,  1723,  and  Historice  Me7inonitaruJii  Plenior  Deductio,  ibid, 
1729. 

1  Regarding  the  circumstances  of  the  appeal  of  Smyth  and  his  brethren  for  admission  to 
the  Amsterdam  Mennonite  church  of  which  Gerrits  was  minister,  and  the  preparation  of  this  Con- 
fession, see  Evans,  Early  English-  Baptists,  London,  1862,  L  201-224 ;  Barclay,  Inner  Li/e,  etc., 
pp.  68-73;  De  Hoop  Scheffer,  De  Broivnisten  te  Amsterdam,  etc.  (Memoir  before  the  Royal 
Academy),  published  Amsterdam,  1881  ;  Dexter,  True  Story  of  John  Smyth,  the  Se-Baptist,  etc., 
Boston,  1881.  The  Confession  as  originally  prepared  consisted  of  38  articles,  drawn  up  by  Hans  de 
Ries  at  the  request  of  Smyth's  company.  Translated  into  English,  it  was  signed  by  Smyth  and  his 
friends  and  laid  before  the  Mennonite  congregation.     It  was  enlarged  by  its  author  and  put  forth 


ANABAPTIST    TRINXIPLES  5 

Christ,'  according  to  the  spirit  and  the  truth,  the  heirs  of  the  promises,  truly  saved 
from  the  hypocrites  and  dissemblers. 

"23.  In  this  lioly  church  hath  God  ordained  the  ministers  of  the  Gospel,  the 
doctrines  of  the  holy  Word,  the  use  of  the  holy  sacraments,  the  oversight  of  the  poor, 
and  the  ministers  of  the  same  offices  ;  furthermore,  the  exercise  of  brotherly  admoni- 
tion and  correction,  and,  finally,  the  separating  of  the  impenitent ;  which  holy  ordi- 
nances, contained  in  the  Word  of  God,  are  to  be  administered  according  to  the 
contents  thereof. 

"  24.  And  like  as  a  body  consisteth  of  divers  parts,  and  every  part  hath  its  own 
proper  work,  seeing  every  part  is  not  a  hand,  eye,  or  foot;  so  it  is  also  in  the  church 
of  God;  for  although  every  believer  is  a  member  of  the  body  of  Christ,  yet  is  not 
every  one  therefore  a  teacher,  elder,  or  deacon,  but  only  such  who  are  orderly 
appointed  to  such  offices.  Therefore,  also,  the  administration  of  the  said  offices  or 
duties  pertaineth  only  to  those  that  are  ordained  thereto,  and  not  to  every  particular 
common  person. 

"25.  The  vocation  or  election  of  the  said  officers  is  performed  by  the  church, 
with  fasting,  and  prayer  to  God;  for  God  knoweth  the  heart;  he  is  amongst  the 
faithful  who  are  gathered  together  in  his  name;  and  by  his  Holy  Spirit  doth  so 
govern  the  minds  and  hearts  of  his  people,  that  he  by  them  bringeth  to  light  and 
propoundeth  whom  he  knoweth  to  be  profitable  to  his  church. 

"26.  And  although  the  election  and  vocation  to  the  said  offices  is  performed 
by  the  foresaid  means,  yet,  nevertheless,  the  investing  into  the  said  service  is  accom- 
plished by  the  elders  of  the  church  ^  through  the  laying  on  of  hands.     .     .     . 

"29.  The  Holy  Baptism  is  given  unto  these  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  the 
Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  which  hear,  believe,  and  with  penitent  heart  receive  the 
doctrines  of  the  Holy  Gospel.  For  such  hath  the  Lord  Jesus  commanded  to  be 
baptized,  and  no  unspeaking  children. 

"  33.  The  church  discipline,  or  external  censures,  is  also  an  outward  handling^ 
among  the  believers,  whereby  the  impenitent  sinner,  after  Christian  admonition  and 
reproof,  is  severed,  by  reason  of  his  sins,  from  the  communion  of  the  saints  for  his 
future  good;  and  the  wrath  of  God  is  denounced  against  him  until  the  time  of  his 
contrition  and  reformation.     .     .     . 

"35-  Worldly  authority  or  magistracy  is  a  necessary  ordinance  of  God,  ap- 
pointed and  established  for  the  preservation  of  the  common  estate,  and  of  a  good, 
natural,  politic  life,  for  the  reward  of  the  good  and  the  punishing  of  the  evil:  we 
acknowledge  ourselves  obnoxious,  and  bound  by  the  Word  of  God  to  fear,  honour, 
and  show  obedience  to  the  magistrates  in  all  causes  not  contrary  to  the  Word  of 


for  the  use  of  the  Dutch  probably  in  1610,  apparently  with  the  approval  of  Gerrits.  Though  in  no 
sense  binding  upon  the  Mennonite  body,  it  has  been  their  most  venerated  e.\pression  of  faith.  A 
full  Latin  version  of  the  enlarged  form  is  given  by  Schyn,  Historia,  etc.,  Amsterdam,  1723,  pp. 
172-220,  who  remarks:  "  Ecce  .  .  .  Con/essionem,  non  solum  fere  per  sesqui  saeculum  apud 
plurimas  81  ma.\imas  illorum  Ecclesias,  in  Belgio  pro  formula  Consensus  inter  Waterlandos  sic 
dictos  habitam,"  etc.  On  the  great  doctrinal  controversy  which  agitated  Holland  at  the  time  of  its 
composition  the  Confession  is  Arminian,  but  that  which  here  concerns  us  is  its  view  of  church 
polity,  in  which  it  is  representative  of  all  Mennonite  teaching  and  the  theories  doubtless  which  were 
current  among  the  Anabaptists  who  found  settlement  during  the  previous  half-century  in  England. 
The  extracts  are  from  the  English  version  signed  by  Smyth  and  his  associates  in  1609,  and  printed 
by  Evans,  Ibid.^  I  :  245-252.  It  is  substantially  and  almost  verbally  identical  with  the  revised 
form  given  by  Schyn. 

'  I.  e.,  the  righteous  are  the  only  true  members,  etc. 

*  Schyn,  "a  Senioribus  populi  coram  Ecclesia."  ^  Ibid.,  "actio." 


6  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISiM 

the  Lord.  We  are  obliged  to  pray  God  Almighty  for  them,  and  to  thank  the  Lord 
for  good  reasonable  magistrates,  and  to  yield  unto  them,  without  murmuring,  beseem- 
ing tribute,  toll,  and  tax.  This  office  of  the  worldly  authority  the  Lord  Jesus  hath 
not  ordained  in  his  spiritual  kingdom,  the  church  of  the  New  Testament,  nor 
adjoined  to  the  offices  of  his  church.  Neither  hath  he  called  his  disciples  or 
followers  to  be  worldly  kings,  princes,  potentates,  or  magistrates;  neither  hath  he 
burdened  or  charged  them  to  assume  such  offices,  or  to  govern  the  world  in  such 
a  worldly  manner;  much  less  hath  he  given  a  law  to  the  members  of  his  church 
which  is  agreeable  to  such  office  or  government.     . 

"36.  Christ,  the  King  and  Lawgiver  of  the  New  Testament,  hath  prohibited 
Christians  the  swearing  of  oaths;  therefore  it  is  not  permitted  that  the  faithful  of 
the  New  Testament  should  swear  at  all." 

It  is  clear,  therefore,  that  there  were  prevalent  in  the  domain 
of  Protestantism,  during  the  latter  half  of  the  sixteenth  century, 
two  radically  differing  theories  of  the  church, —  the  one  supported 
by  the  leading  reformers  and  their  successors  and  upheld  by  the 
civil  authorities,  but  representing  nevertheless  a  partial  rather 
than  a  complete  application  of  the  principles  of  the  Reformation; 
the  other  maintained  with  many  vagaries,  and  much  that  was 
positively  fanaticaj,  by  men  of  little  education  or  social  position, 
subject  to  almost  universal  persecution,'  but  representing,  how- 
ever mistakenly,  an  attempt  to  apply  the  principles  of  the  Word 
of  God  not  merely  to  doctrine  but  to  every  feature  of  polity 
and  life. 

Though  the  Anabaptists  flourished  in  Holland,  they  made 
few  direct  disciples  during  the  sixteenth  century  on  English  soil. 
Yet  they  were  present  in  the  island  and  cannot  have  been  with- 
out some  influence.  After  the  religious  and  political  tyranny  of 
Philip  II.  had  begun  its  reign  of  terror  in  the  Netherlands,  the 
Dutch  and  Walloons,  who  had  always  found  in  the  eastern  coun- 
ties of  England  a  favorite  field  for  immigration,  flocked  across  the 
North  Sea  in  almost  astounding  numbers.  By  1562  these  exiles 
on  English  soil  numbered  30,000.^  Six  years  later  they  embraced 
some  5,225  of  the  population  of  London,  while  in  the  cities  of 
the  eastern  coast  they  were  yet  more  largely  represented,  forming 
a  majority  of  the  people  of  Norwich  in  1587,  and  making  a  con- 


1  The  one  exception  was  the  protection  of  the  Dutch  Anabaptists  by  William  of  Orange. 
Campbell,  Puritan,  1 :  247,  248. 

2  These  figures  are  from  Campbell,  Ibid.,  488. 


ANABAPTISTS   IN    ENGLAND  J 

spicuous  element  in  the  population  of  Dover,  Sandwich,  and  other 
important  towns.  Of  course  these  thousands  of  Hollanders  were 
not  to  any  large  extent  Anabaptists;  but  there  were  Anabaptists 
among  them,'  and  probably  many  more  than  openly  appeared, 
for  to  own  the  sentiments  of  the  hated  sect  under  the  reign  of 
Elizabeth  was  to  be  liable  to  death  at  the  stake.  It  seems  not 
unreasonable  to  suppose  that  their  views,  modified  and  partially 
presented,  may  have,  more  or  less  unconsciously,  become  part  of 
the  thinking  of  the  more  zealous  of  the  English  seekers  after  a 
fuller  reformation  with  whom  they  were  brought  in  contact.  But 
while  it  is  certainly  within  the  bounds  of  probability  to  admit 
such  a  degree  of  influence  on  the  part  of  the  Dutch  Anabaptists 
on  English  religious  thought  in  the  eastern  counties  during  the 
last  quarter  of  the  sixteenth  century,  it  should  not  be  forgotten 
that  the  New  Testament  was  before  the  English  reader  as  well  as 
in  the  hands  of  the  Dutch  Anabaptist,  and  that  its  pages  might 
convey  the  same  lesson  independently  to  the  English  student. 
Certainly  the  early  English  Congregationalists  had  no  conscious- 
ness that  their  views  were  derived  from  any  other  source  than  the 
New  Testament;  and  while  there  is  much  in  their  history,  and 
especially  in  the  geography  of  their  origin,  to  make  it  probable 
that  some  considerable  infiltration  of  Anabaptist  thought  aided  in 
shaping  their  interpretations  of  the  Scripture;  they  were  more  than 
mere  successors  or  offshoots  of  the  Anabaptists  of  the  Continent.* 
Some  attempt  to  realize  a  further  reformation  in  directions 
looking  toward  later  Congregationalism  may  have  been  made  bj' 
Richard  Fitz  and  his  associates  at  London  in  1567,  but  the  first 
Englishman'  to  proclaim  Congregational  principles  in  writing  was 


'  On  the  occasion  when  the  two  whose  burning  in  1575  has  already  been  noticed  \y£re 
arrested  in  London,  twenty-five  others  were  taken  into  custody. 

'  Mr.  Douglas  Campbell,  in  his  suggestive  work,  The  Purituti  in  Holland,  England,  and 
America,  II:  180,  holds  strongly  that  Browne  received  his  ideas  directly  from  the  Anabaptists. 
This  matter  will  be  further  considered  later  in  this  chapter. 

^  The  origin  of  Congregationalism  as  an  organized  polity  has  been  frequently  attributed,  and 
notably  by  Waddington  (Congregational  History,  JSOO-ijOy,  London,  1869,  pp.  742-745),  to  a  com- 
pany broken  up  by  the  government  at  Plumbers'  Hall,  June  19,  1567.  But  though  the  evidence  of 
their  opposition  to  the  e.xisting  state  of  the  Church  of  England  is  ample,  and  it  seems  certain  that 
they  had  adopted  Separatist  principles  and  chosen  their  own  ministry,  their  Congregationalism  was 
yet  very  rudimentary.  See  Punchard,  Hist.  0/  Cong.,  Boston  [1865],  II:  454-459;  De.xter,  Cong, 
as  seen,  pp.  114,  115,  631-4;  Scott,  Pilgrim  Fathers  neither  Ptiritaiis  nor  Persecutors,  London, 


8  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

Robert  Browne,'  a  man  of  sincere  purpose,  at  least  in  early  life; 
but  one  whose  erratic  disposition  and  final  reconciliation  with  the 
English  Establishment  have  cost  him  the  personal  repute  which 
would  otherwise  have  been  his.  Possessed  of  only  ordinary  ability, 
he  nevertheless  saw  some  truths  clearly  which  had  been  ignored 
by  the  ecclesiastical  teachers  of  his  age. 

Browne  was  born  about  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century, 
of  a  family  related  to  that  of  Elizabeth's  great  statesman.  Lord 
Burghley.  His  education  was  at  Corpus  Christi  College,  Cam- 
bridge, an  institution  which  he  entered  in  1570.  The  university 
was  already  strongly  Puritan,  and  under  the  vigorous  teaching  of 
the  greatest  of  the  early  Puritans,  Thomas  Cartwright,'^  was  filled 
with  the  idea  that  a  further  reformation  of  the  English  Church 
was   needful,  —  a  reform  to  be  brought  about,  in  his   estimation, 


1S91:  C.  R.  Palmer,  Historical  Address^  before  New  Haven  Cong.  Club,  Oct.,  1892,  New  Haven, 
1893;  MacKennal,  Story  of  the  Eng.  Separatists^  London,  1893;  Adeney,  Ch.  in  the  Prisons,  in 
Early  Independents,  London,  1893. 

1  The  discoveries  and  investigations  of  the  late  Dr.  Dexter  have  so  re-made  the  portrait  of 
Browne  that  all  previous  literature  regarding  him  is  of  secondary  value.  The  student  will  do  well, 
therefore,  to  consult  Dexter,  Congregationalism  as  see7i,  etc.,  pp.  61-128.  The  article  on  Browne 
by  Aug.  Jessopp  in  the  Dictionary  0/  National  Biography,  VII:  57-61,  is  also  of  value.  The 
main  facts  of  his  life,  so  far  as  not  related  in  the  text,  are  as  follows:  —  He  was  born,  probably  in 
1550,  at  Tolethorpe,  Rutlandshire.  After  his  student  life  in  Cambridge,  and  chaplaincy  to  the 
Duke  of  Norfolk,  he  taught  school  till  1578  :  then  followed  his  second  period  of  Cambridge  study, 
his  preaching  and  silencing  by  the  bishop,  and  his  full  adoption  of  Congregational  principles  and 
settlement  in  Norwich  about  1580.  Late  in  1581,  probably,  he  went  to  Holland,  and  in  1582  pub- 
lished the  books  with  which  we  have  to  do.  Quarrels  distressed  his  church  in  Middelburg,  and  as  a 
result  Browne  and  a  few  followers  went  from  Holland  to  Scotland  in  1583.  At  Edinburgh  he  was 
received  with  much  disfavor  by  the  Presbyterian  authorities.  By  the  summer  of  1584  he  was  appar- 
ently back  in  London,  having  failed  to  found  a  permanent  congregation  either  in  Norwich,  Holland, 
or  Scotland.  Here  in  London  he  was  imprisoned,  as  he  had  been  repeatedly  before ;  but  here,  as 
elsewhere,  he  was  saved  from  the  most  serious  consequences  of  his  opposition  to  the  English  eccle- 
siastical system  by  his  relationship  to  Lord  Burghley.  Released  from  prison,  he  seems  to  have  gone 
to  Northampton  in  1586,  and  was  then  excommunicated  by  the  Bishop  of  Peterborough.  He  was 
now,  it  would  appear,  utterly  discouraged.  Dr.  Dexter  held,  with  much  show  of  reason,  that  his 
mind  had  become  affected  by  his  long  disappointments  and  imprisonments.  At  all  events,  he  be- 
came reconciled  to  the  Establishment  late  in  1586,  and  was  appointed  master  of  a  grammar  school 
in  Southwark,  a  position  which  he  held  till  September,  1591,  when,  having  been  restored  to  the 
ministry  of  the  Church  of  England,  he  received  from  his  ever  kindly  relative.  Lord  Burghley,  the 
living  of  Achurch  cum  Thorpe.  Here  he  ministered  till  near  his  death,  an  event  which  occurred 
in  Northampton  jail  (when  he  was  a  prisoner  probably  in  consequence  of  a  debt)  sometime  between 
June,  1631,  and  November,  1633.  His  later  life  was  wholly  insignificant  and  comports  well  with  the 
view  that  he  was  a  broken-down  man. 

2  Cartwright  was  about  forty  years  old  when  Browne  entered  the  university  and  was  at 
the  height  of  his  fame  and  influence.  He  had  been  identified  with  Cambridge  as  student,  fellow, 
and  teacher  since  1547.  In  1569  he  had  been  made  professor  of  divinity;  but  his  Puritan  views 
were  at  once  attacked  by  the  Anglicans,  led  by  Whitgift,  the  later  archbishop,  and  he  was  com- 
pelled to  relinquish  his  professorship  in  December,  1570,  and  his  fellowship  in  September,  1571. 
This  discussion  must  have  stirred  Browne  profoundly. 


BROWNE  S   SPIRITUAL   DEVELOPMENT  9 

however,  from  witliin  and  not  by  separation  from  its  fold.  Browne 
soon  combined  the  duties  of  a  student's  life  with  the  occupation 
of  a  chaphiin  in  the  family  of  the  Duke  of  Norfolk;  but  here 
he  showed  opinions  at  variance  wnth  those  of  the  ecclesiastical 
authorities,  the  exact  nature  of  which  it  is  impossible  to  affirm, 
but  which  were  probably  Puritan  rather  than  fully  Congregational. 
'J'he  duke,  at  all  events,  sympathized  with  him  sufficiently  to  plead 
in  his  behalf  that  a  chaplaincy  was  a  privileged  office  beyond  the 
reach  of  the  ordinary  processes  of  ecclesiastical  law.  Whether  his 
patron's  intervention  was  sufficient  to  check  further  proceedings 
in  Browne's  case  or  not  does  not  appear;  but  for  about  three  years 
thereafter  he  taught  school,  apparently  at  Southwark,  preaching 
also  to  such  as  he  could  gather  in  illegal  meetings  in  a  gravel- 
]:)it  at  Islington.  But  desire  for  further  study  drew  him  back  to 
Cambridge,  and,  as  w'as  natural  for  an  earnest  young  Puritan  min- 
ister, he  entered  the  household  theological  school  of  Rev.  Richard 
Greenham,  an  eminent  Puritan  of  Dry  Drayton,  not  far  from  the 
university  town.  Here  he  was  encouraged  to  preach  in  pulpits  of 
the  Church  of  England  where  the  hearers  were  of  Puritan  sympa- 
thies, and  such  was  the  favor  with  which  he  was  regarded  that  he 
took  charge  of  a  church  in  Cambridge  itself.  Here  it  was,  appar- 
ently, that  he  underwent  the  spiritual  struggle  which  led  him  to 
Congregational  views.'  The  church  to  which  he  had  preached  for 
about  six  months  desired  him  to  remain,  but  Browne's  Puritan 
scruples  regarding  bishops  had  made  him  feel  that  an  appoint- 
ment dependent  upon  one  of  their  order  was  no  proper  ministry: 
The  conviction  now  came  to  him  that  the  all-inclusive  members- 
ship  of  the  Church  of  England  w-as  well-nigh  fatal  to  real  piety. 
The  only  course  for  those  who  would  seek  a  full  Christian  life  was 
to  separate  from  it  and  unite  among  themselves.  He  felt  that 
"  the  kingdom  off  God  Was  not  to  be  begun  by  whole  parishes,  but 


•  Dr.  Dexter,  whose  admirable  account  of  Browne  is  the  source  of  the  facts  of  his  biography 
above  given,  was  the  discoverer  of  an  undated  little  work  by  Browne  himself,  A  Trve  and  Sliort 
Declaration^  both  o/  the  Gathering  and  loyning  Together  o/  Certainc  Persons:  and  also  of 
the  Lamentable  Breach  and  Division  luhich  fell  Amongst  Them^  which  is  really  a  "spiritual 
autobiography."  A  manuscript  copy  is  in  the  Dexter  Collection,  now  in  the  possession  of  Yale 
University,  and  a  reprint  has  been  issued,  without  date  or  place,  [by  Dr.  Dale  ?] 
2 


lO  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

rather  off  the  worthiest,  Were  they  never  so  fewe."  '  Natifrally 
such  views  were  offensive  to  his  ecclesiastical  superiors,  and  the 
result  was  that  Browne  was  silenced. 

Thus  far  Browne's  primary  desire  seems  to  have  been  the  de- 
velopment of  a  more  earnest  spiritual  life.  He  had  followed  the 
Puritan  path  and  he  had  gone  far  beyond  Puritanism  into  a  belief 
in  the  necessity  of  actual  separation  from  the  Establishment.  But 
he  had  not  yet  fully  thought  out  the  constitution  of  the  purified 
church  for  which  he  longed.  It  is  interesting  to  observe  that  in 
this  transition  period,  after  he  had  been  silenced  by  the  bishop,  he 
learned  that  in  the  neighboring  county  of  Norfolk,  a  county  in 
which  Dutch  artisans  were  present  in  large  numbers  and  presuma- 
bly Dutch  Anabaptists  among  them,  were  persons  who  were  eager 
for  religious  reform  in  the  direction  toward  which  his  own  thoughts 
turned,  and  he  resolved  to  go  to  them.  Before  this  determination 
was  put  into  practice,  however,  an  acquaintance,  Robert  Harrison,^ 
who  was  also  to  be  a  fellow-laborer  with  Browne,  came  to  Cam- 
bridge from  Norwich,  the  principal  town  of  Norfolk.  With  him, 
probably  in  1580,  Browne  removed  to  Norwich,  and  here  in  con- 
versation with  Harrison,  in  study  of  the  Scripture,  and  it  may  be 
also  through  contact  with  Anabaptist  views  (though  on  this  point 
proof  is  lacking),  Browne  fully  thought  out  his  system  of  church- 
government.  Here,  too,  at  some  uncertain  time  in  1580  or  1581,^ 
he  formed  with  others  whom  he  gathered  about  him  the  first  Con- 
gregational Church  of  the  long  series  which  has  continued  since 
that  day. 

So  conspicuous  action  in  defiance  of  constituted  ecclesiastical 
authorities  could  not  escape  notice,  the  more  so  that  Browne  ex- 
tended his  field  of  preaching  as  far  as  Bury  Saint  Edmunds.*     By 


1  Trve  and  Short  Declaration,  p.  6;  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  67. 

^  Robert  Harrison  had  entered  Cambridge  university  in  1564,  he  had  graduated  B.  A.  at  Cor- 
pus Christi  in  1567,  and  M.  A.  in  1572.  After  the  latter  graduation,  at  some  uncertain  date,  he  was 
made  master  of  a  Norwich  hospital.  At  Norwich,  Browne  lived  in  his  house.  Harrison  accompa- 
nied Browne  to  Middelburg  and  remained  there,  probably  as  pastor,  after  Browne's  departure.  He 
did  not  long  survive,  dying  about  1585.  See  Cooper,  Athena  Cantabrigienses,  II:  177;  anA  Diet. 
National  Biography,  XXV :  38. 

'  De.xter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  70. 

*  Bishop  Freake  of  Norwich  declared  that,  apparently  at  Bury  Saint  Edmunds,  "the  vulgar 
sort  of  people  .  .  .  greatly  depended  on  him,  assembling  themselves  together  to  the  number  of  an 
hundred  at  a  time  in  private  houses  and  conventicles  to  hear  him."     See  quotations  in  Dexter,  p.  70. 


BROWNE  S    PUBLICATIONS  II 

April, *i58i,  the  bishop  of  Norwich  had  taken  official  cognizance  of 
his  doings.  But  the  relationship  of  the  young  Congregationalist 
to  Lord  Burghley,  and  the  help  extended  by  that  powerful  kins- 
man/ prevented  any  more  serious  consequences  to  Browne  than  a 
six-months  of  great  personal  annoyance.  These  experiences,  how- 
ever, convinced  the  infant  church  that  it  had  nothing  to  hope  for 
in  England,  and  therefore  after  much  deliberation,  Browne,  Harri-. 
son,  and  a  part  of  the  Norwich  company  emigrated  to  the  city  of 
Middelburg  in  the  Dutch  province  of  Zeland,"  probably  in  the  au- 
tumn of  15S1.  It  would  appear  that  some  of  the  Norwich  flock 
remained  behind  and  continued  a  Congregational  organization,  for 
a  time  at  least,  on  English  soil.' 

It  was  soon  after  his  arrival  in  Holland  that  Browne  put  forth, 
with  the  pecuniary  aid  of  Harrison,  some  time  in  1582,  three  tracts" 
designed  primarily  to  further  his  views  in  England,  and  from  one 
of  which  our  statement  of  his  principles  is  drawn.  These  little 
works  were  sent  to  England,  and  in  spite  of  a  proclamation  in  the 
name  of  Queen  Elizabeth  forbidding  their  circulation,^  they  were 
scattered  abroad;  at  Bury  Saint  Edmunds  they  were  distributed 
through  the  agency  of  two  of  Browne's  followers,  John  Coppin  and 
Elias  Thacker,  who  were  at  the  time  in  not  very  strict  imprison- 
ment for  their  religious  opinions,  but  who  for  their  connection 
with  these  tracts  were  condemned  and  hanged  in  the  summer  of 

With  Browne's  further  fortunes  we  have  little  to  do.  His  own 
impulsive  temperament,  and  the  value  placed  on  church  discipline 
by  the  early  Separatists,  led  to  quarrel  in  his  Middelburg  flock,  a 
quarrel  which  resulted  in  his  leaving  Harrison  and  the  majority  of 
his  congregation  on  Dutch  soil,  and  going  with  a  few  followers  to 


*  Burghley  had  no  sympathy  with  Browne's  views  on  church-government. 

*  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  72. 

3  Dexter,  pp.  73,  74,  shows  that  a  Congregational  church  existed  at  Norwich  as  late  as  1603, 
which  was  regarded  as  an  "  elder  sister"  by  the  church  formed  at  London  in  1592. 

*  Beside  the  Booke  which  sheweth,  etc.,  from  which  our  selections  are  taken,  these  tracts 
were  A  Treatise  vpon  the  ZJ.  0/  Matthewe,  and  A  Treatise  of  Reformation  without  Tarying 
for  anie. 

-  Given  June  30,  1583.  In  full,  Dexter,  p.  75.  The  tracts  were  described  as  "sundry  sedi- 
tious, scismaticall,  and  erronious  printed  Bookes  and  libelles,  tending  to  the  deprauing  of  the  Eccle- 
siastical gouernment  established  within  this  Realme." 

'  See  Dexter,  pp.  208-210;  Campbell  Puritan,  II:  182,  183. 


12  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

Scotland  late  in  1583.  Here  he  found  the  opposition  of  the  Pres- 
byterian authorities  as  fatal  to  his  peace  as  that  of  the  bishops  of 
England  had  been;  and,  after  some  time  vainly  spent  in  various 
Scotch  towns,  he  returned  to  England,  once  more  to  meet  defeat, 
with  the  added- pain  of  imprisonment.  Broken  down  in  body  and 
mind  at  last,  it  would  appear,  he  made  his  peace  with  the  Church 
of  England  in  15 86,  and  through  the  kindness  of  Lord  Burghley,  he 
obtained,  in  1591,  the  rectorship  of  Achurch  cum  Thorpe,  in 
which  ofhce  he  passed  the  forty  remaining  years  of  his  now 
uneventful  life. 

The  system  which  Browne  laid  down  in  the  three  treatises  of 
15S2,  is  imperfectly  worked  out  in  detail,  but  it  nevertheless  pre- 
sents with  great  clearness  the  essential  features  of  modern  Con- 
gregationalism. As  Dr.  Dexter  has  shown, ^  the  starting  point  in 
Browne's  thinking  was  not  a  desire  to  establish  a  novel  polity,  but 
to  foster  the  spiritual  development  of  the  believer  by  his  separa- 
tion from  communion  with  the  non-faithful  whom  all  the  State 
churches  allowed  a  place  in  the  church.  He  broke  with  the 
Church  of  England  primarily,  because  its  bishops  and  other 
authorities  approved  its  general,  and,  as  Browne  thought,  anti- 
'  Christian,  inclusion  of  all  non-excommunicate  baptized  persons, 
an  inclusiveness,  which,  to  his  way  of  thinking,  made  the  real  de- 
viation of  the  Establishment  in  spiritual  tone  impossible.  He 
broke  with  the  Puritans,  for,  though  they  desired  a  spiritual  refor- 
mation as  sincerely  as  he,  they  would  wait  for  it  from  the  hand  of 
the  civil  magistrate  ;  ^  and  Browne,  first  of  English  writers,  set 
forth  the  Anabaptist  doctrine  that  the  civil  ruler  has  no  control 
over  the  spiritual  affairs  of  the  church,  that  church  and  state  are 
separate  realms.  His  views  on  this  important  question  were 
expressed  in  the  clearest  fashion:^ 

"  Yet  may  they  [magistrates]  doo  nothing  concerning  the  Church,  but  onehe  ciu- 


'   Coi!^.  as  seen,  pp.  96-104. 

2  See  his  work  of  1582,  A  Treatise  of  Reformation  without  Tarying  for  anie  [i.  e.,  with- 
out waiting  for  the  civil  authorities  to  act,  as  tlie  Puritans  wished],  atid  of  the  mickednesse  of 
those  Preachers  which  will  not  reforrne  till  the  Magistrate  cojnmaunde  or  compell  them. 

3  I  have  given  this  quotation  at  length  because  the  point  is  not  so  clearly  shown  in  the  selec- 
tions on  a  later  page.  It  is  from  the  Treatise  of  Reformation,  p.  12.  See  also  Dexter,  pp.  loi, 
102. 


THE  CHURCH  and  its  officers  13 

ilie,  and  as  ciuile  Magistrates;  that  is,  tliey  haue  not  tliat  authoritie  ouer  the  church, 
as  to  be  Prophetes  or  Priestes,  or  spiritual  Kings,  as  they  are  Magistrates  ouer  the 
same  :  but  onelie  to  rule  the  common  wealth  in  all  outwarde  lustice,  to  maintaine  the 
right  welfare  and  honor  therof  with  outward  power,  bodily  punishment,  &  ciuil 
forcing  of  me.  And  therfore  also  because  the  church  is  in  a  common  wealth,  it  is 
of  their  charge :  that  is  concerning  the  outward  prouision  &  outward  iustice,  they 
are  to  looke  to  it ;  but  to  copell  religion,  to  plant  churches  by  power,  and  to  force  a 
submission  to  Ecclesiastical  gouernement  by  lawes  &  penalties,  belongeth  not  to 
them."  ' 

If,  then,  a  full  spiritual  life  in  a  community  was  impos.sible 
under  the  existing  government  of  the  Church  of  England,  and  if 
it  was  not  only  useless  but  wrong  to  wait  for  the  reform  of  that 
Establishment,  as  the  Puritans  were  waiting,  at  the  hand  of  the 
civil  authorities,  how  were  the  Christians,  who  must  thus  of  neces- 
sity separate  themselves  from  their  old  churchly  connections,  to  be 
organized  into  new  societies  ?  The  model  for  their  organization 
Browne  found  in  the  New  Testament.*^  The  believers  should  be 
united  to  God  and  one  to  another  by  a  covenant,  entered  into,  not 
by  compulsion,  but  willingly.'  Such  a  body,  so  united,  and  recog- 
nizing their  obligations  to  God  the  Father  and  to  Christ  as  their 
law-giver  and  ruler,  are  a  church.  Of  this  church  Christ  is  the 
head,^  and  his  powers  and  graces  are  for  the  use  of  every  member,^; 
There  are  officers  of  divine  appointment,  some  of  temporary  use  to 
aid  all  churches,  apostles,  prophets,  and  evangelists,  who  belong  to 
the  past  rather  than  the  present  ;^  and  others  designated  as  the 
abiding  officers  of  individual  churches,  the  pastor,  teacher,  elders, 
deacons,  and  widows,  who  "  haue  their  seuerall  charge  in  one 
Churche  onely."'^  Yet  these  officers  do  not  stand  between  Christ 
and  the  ordinary  believer,  they  "  haue  the  grace  &  office  of  teaching 
and  guiding  ;  "  but  "  euerie  one  of  the  church  is  made  a  Kinge,  a. 
Priest,  and  a  Prophet  vnder  Christ,  to  vpholde  and  further  the" 
kingdom  of  God.""  The  offices  of  Christ  are  for  the  use  of  each 
member  of  the  church,  as  well  as  for  those  who  "teach  and 
guide "    it.^      It    is    this    immediateness    of   relationship   between 


■   It  is  interesting  to  notice  that  Harrison  did  not  sliare  Browne's  view  on  this  point,  De-xter, 
p.  85. 

2  Compare  extracts  from  the  Booke  ivhich  Shewcth  at  the  close  of  this  chapter,  Answer  35. 

3  Ibid.,  Ans.  36-38.  •>  Ibid.,  Ans.  44.  »  Ibid.,  Ans.  55. 
«  Ibid.,  52.              7  Ibid.,  53,  54.              *•  Ibid.,  50,  55.               »  Ibid.,  56-58. 


■14  .  BROWNE'S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

Christ,  the  head  of  the  church  and  each  member,  that,  as  Dr. 
Dexter  has  pointed  out,'  makes  Browne's  polity  essentially  though 
unintentionally  democratic,  and  that  gives  it  a  closer  resemblance 
in  some  features  to  the  purely  democratic  Congregationalism  of 
the  present  century  than  to  the  more  aristocratic,  one  might 
,  almost  say  semi-Presbyterianized,  Congregationalism  of  Barrowe 
and  the  founders  of  New  England. 

Church  officers  are  to  be  chosen  by  the  congregations  which 
they  serve,  and  ordination  is  to  be  at  the  hands  of  the  "  elders," 
an  expression  which  Browne  uses  as  signifying  in  this  connection 
the  "  forwardest  "  or  most  worthy  of  a  congregation,  rather  than  a 
particular  order  of  church  officers.-  Unlike  the  teachers  of  the 
prelatical  churches,  Browne  held  that  the  essence  of  a  minister's 
claim  to  office  lay  not  in  the  imposition  of  hands  in  ordination,  but 
in  his  inward  calling  by  divine  providence  and  his  choice  by  the 
people  of  his  charge.'  Among  the  duties  of  a  church  officer,  dis- 
cipline had  a  large  place, ^  but  the  ordinary  member  was  in  no  way 
relieved  from  responsibility  regarding  his  brethren,  he,  too,  must 
"watch"  and  "trie  out  all  wickednes."^  In  fact,  the  whole 
conception  entertained  by  Browne  of  the  position  of  a  church 
officer  was,  that  he  should  be  a  leader  and  example  to  his 
brethren  rather  than  a  master  and  judge. 

Browne  saw  that  not  only  individuals  within  a  local  church, 
but  the  local  churches  as  separate  bodies  had  duties  one  to  another. 
His  theory  on  this  point  was  not  elaborated  in  detail,  but  he  recog- 
nized clearly  the  propriety  of  "  synodes,"  or  councils, —  the  "meet- 
ings of  sundrie  churches:  which  are  when  the  weaker  churches 
seeke  heipe  of  the  stronger,  for  deciding  or  redressing  of  matters 
or  else  the  stronger  looke  to  them  for  redresse."  ° 

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  Browne  perceived  that  his  theory 
of  the  relation  of  an  officer  to  a  church  was  applicable,  in  large 
measure,  to  civil  society.  Though  he  recognized  that  the  claims 
of  some  to  civil  office  were  based,  as  one  element,  on  "  parentage 
and  birth,"  he  held  that  all  in  rightful  authority  were  so  by  the 


1   Cong-,  as  seen,  pp.  io6,  107.  2  Booke  which  Sheiueth^Ans.  117,  119,  also  51. 

3  Ibid.,  119.  <  Ibid.,  126.  «  Ibid.,  56.  8  Ibid.,  51. 


SOURCE   OF   HIS    SYSTEM  K 

command  of  God  and  "agreement  of  men."  His  picture  of  tl 
covenant-relation  of  men  in  the  church,  under  the  immediate  sov- 
ereignty of  Ciod,  he  extended  to  the  state;  and  it  led  him  as 
directly,  and  probably  as  unintentionally,  to  democracy  in  the  one 
field  as  in  the  other.  His  theory  implied  that  all  governors  should 
rule  by  the  will  of  the  governed,  and  made  the  basis  of  the  state 
on  its  human  side  essentially  a  compact." 

Whence  were  these  views  of  Browne  derived?  Clearly  from 
the  New  Testament,  in  whose  pages  he  thought  he  saw  delineated 
the  pattern  of  the  church  which  God  designed.  But  whether  he 
was  brought  to  this  system  of  polity  by  unaided  study  of  the  Scrip- 
tures and  thought  upon  the  state  of  the  Church  of  England;  or 
whether  his  theories  and  interpretations  were  assisted  by  some 
knowledge  of  the  beliefs  of  the  Dutch  Anabaptists,  is  a  question 
not  so  easy  to  answer.  The  late  Dr.  Dexter  held  strongly  to  the 
position  that  Browne  owed  nothing  to  Anabaptist  influences  and 
that  he  was  a  disciple  of  no  one.'  Mr.  Douglas  Campbell  main- 
tains, on  the  other  hand,  that  Browne  derived  one  of  his  most  im- 
portant doctrines,  —  that  of  the  separation  of  Church  and  State, — 
from  the  Anabaptists;'  and  the  inference  is  that  his  debt  to  these 
Dutch  exiles  was  extensive.  Much  may  be  said  in  defense  of 
either  of  these  views.  Browne  held,  as  we  have  seen,  that  it  was 
the  duty  of  Christians  to  separate  from  communions  where 
non-Christians  were  tolerated.  This  was  a  position  held 
by  the  Anabaptists.*  He  would  not  wait  for  reformation  at,  the 
hand  of  the  civil  magistrate  with  the  Puritans,  for  he  believed  that 
the  magistrate  had  no  right  to  coerce  men's  consciences;  and  this 
was  the  view  also  of  the  Anabaptists.^  And  when  we  look  at  more 
particular  features  of  Browne's  system  we  find  that  his  theories  of 
the  independence  of  the  local  congregation,  its  right  to  choose  its 
own  otficers,  and  the  fundamental  necessity  of  a  vigorous  exercise 
of  discipline,  were  all  exemplified  among  the  Anabaptists.  Then 
it  will  be  remembered  that  when  Browne  had  first  determined  on 


'  Ibiii.^  114-118.  "^  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  103.  ^  Puritan  in  Holland,  etc.,  II:   179,  180,  ;oo. 

*  See  ante,  p.  3. 

*  See    Schyn,  Historia  Mennonitaruni   Plenior  Dedtictio,  Amsterdam,   1729,  pp.  147,  221, 

273.  etc. 


BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

■  -dtion,  he  heard  that  some  far  advanced  in  reHgious  reforma- 
tion were  in  Norfolk,  and  planned  to  join  them ;'  and  he  worked 
out  his  system  in  conversation  with  a  friend,  Robert  Harrison,  who 
had  been  sometime  a  resident  of  Norwich,  and  put  it  into  practice 
at  Norwich  and  probably  at  Bury  Saint  Edmunds  also.  These 
were  places  filled  with  Dutch  refugees,  and  in  both  he  found  a 
considerable  following  among  the  lower  classes.^  There  Anabap- 
tist ideas  must  have  been  considerably  disseminated.  These  con- 
siderations lend  weight  to  the  views  of  Mr.  Campbell. 

But,  on  the  other  hand,  Browne  utterly  rejected  the  great 
Anabaptist  tenet  of  believers'  baptism.^  Furthermore,  unlike  the 
Anabaptists,  he  held  that  oaths  were  sometimes  not  only  lawful 
but  a  "  speciall  furtheraunce  of  the  kingdome  of  God.'"*  He  evi- 
dently saw  nothing  unbecoming  to  a  Christian  in  the  tenure  of 
civil  office;^  and,  moreover,  he  would  not  have  hesitated  to  bear 
arms.**  He  expressly  repudiated  the  charge  that  his  doctrine 
regarding  the  power  of  magistrates  deserved  the  name  of 
Anabaptist.''  x\nd  though  a  strong  geographical  argument 
may  be  drdwn  in  support  of  probable  contact  with  these  Christians 
of  the  Dutch  dispersion,  Browne's  candid  spiritual  autobiog- 
raphy* gives  no  hint  of  any  such  indebtedness,  and  he  mentions 
no  Dutch  names  among  his  supporters.^  It  is  safe  to  affirm  that 
he  had  no  conscious  indebtedness  to  the  Anabaptists. 

Yet  if  a  balance  is  to  be  struck  between  the  views  of  Dr.  Dex- 
ter and  Mr.  Campbell,  I  venture  with  some  diffidence  to  hold  that 
the  truth  lies  between.  It  is  clear  that  Browne  belonged  in  large 
measure  to  that  great  radical  party  which  felt  that  the  early  reform- 
ers of  prominence  had  not  carried  their  principles  to  their  logical 
or  Scriptural  result.  Of  this  party  the  chief  representatives  were 
the  Anabaptists;  and  however  Browne  may  have  reached  his  theo- 
ries, it  is  with  the  radical  reformers  that  he  must  be  classed.     It 


1  A  nil',  p.  lo.  2  _^  ,if^^  p_  JO. 

3  See  the  selections  from  the  Booke  zuhick  Sheivetk,  on  later  page,  Ans.  40. 

'  Ibid.,  no.         '  6  //,/a'.,  112-118.  ^  Bookc  luJiich  ShcivetJi,  p.  100. 

'  "  They  charge  vs  as  Anabaptistes  &  denying  Magistrates,  because  we  set  not  vp  them,  nor 
the  Magistrates,  aboue  Christ  lesus  and  his  glorious  kingdome." — Treatise  of  Reforjiiation,  p. 
13.     See  Dexter,  p.  103. 

*  The  Trve  attd  S/tort  Declaratio7i.  ^  Compare  Dexter,  p.  73. 


SOURCE    OF    HIS    SVSTK.M  1 7 

is  plain  also  that  numy  of  Urownc's  most  characteristic  views  had 
been  already  advanced  by  the  Anabaptists.  But  it  is  no  less 
evident  that  Browne  differed  from  the  Anabaptists  on  points  of 
great  importance,  and  had  no  conscious  connection  with  them. 
Yet  certain  of  their  views  may  have  circulated  much  more 
widely  in  the  manufacturing  cities  of  eastern  England  than  their 
acknowledged  disciples  penetrated;  and  Browne  may  have  uncon- 
sciously absorbed  much  from  this  atmosphere,  taking  into  his  own 
thinking  such  truths  as  were  acceptable  to  his  own  study  and 
speculation.  It  may  well  be  thus  that  Browne  was  really  indebted 
to  the  Anabaptists  for  some  features  of  his  system,  though  hon- 
estly believing  it  to  be  the  product  of  his  own  study  of  the  Word 
of  God. 

But  while  w'e  may  admit  thus  much  regarding  the  possible  in- 
debtedness of  Browne  to  older  thinkers  of  the  radical  school,  we 
must  recognize  that  he  made  the  polity  which  he  elaborated 
wholly  his  own.  Its  details  were  not  yet  fully  developed,  but 
its  great  outlines  were  there,  and  the  system  of  Browne  can 
be  mistaken  for  no  other  of  the  polities  of  the  Christian  church. 
It  had  a  definiteness  and  a  logical  consistency  which  the  x\nabap- 
tists  had  not  attained.  It  based  the  local  church  on  a  definite 
covenant,  entered  into  by  the  believers  with  God  and  with  one 
another,  more  clearly  than  they,  thus  affording  a  logical  and  Scrip- 
tural foundation  for  the  existence  and  obligations  of  the  local  fel- 
lowship. It  showed,  at  least  in  principle,  that  the  local  independ- 
ence of  the  individual  congregation  is  consistent  with  a  real  and 
efficient  unity  with  other  churches.  It  steered  a  safe  course  be- 
tween the  sacrifice  of  the  self-government  of  the  local  church  for 
the  sake  of  a  strong  central  authority  which  is  the  evil  feature  of 
all  systems  from  Romanism  to  Presbyterianism,  and  the  abandon- 
ment of  real  mutual  accountability  between  churches  which  had 
been  the  vulnerable  point  of  the  polity  of  the  Anabaptists.  Though 
he  proved  unfaithful  himself  to  the  beliefs  which  he  preached  and 
for  which  he  suffered,  Robert  Browne  must  be  accounted  the  father 
of  modern  Congregationalism. 


I 


i8 


BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 


Extracts   from    Browne's  "Booke   which    Sheweth    the    life 

AND    manners    of    ALL    TRUE    CHRISTIANS,"    ETC.,' 

Middelburg,   1582. 


[2]      The  state  of  Christians. 


The  state  of  Heathen. 


Christians.     Their  ktiow ledge.     The  Godhead. 


w 


Herefore  are  we  called  the 
people  of  God  and  Chris- 
tians? 

:ffiecause  tbat  bg  a  willing  Coue* 
naunt  maDe  witb  our  (SoD,  we  are 
vnDcr  tbe  coucrnement  of  (5oO 
aiiD  Cbriste,  auD  tbcrebg  do  leade 
a  goDlg  auD  Cbristian  life. 


Heathen.     Their  ignorance.     False  Gods. 


'  J  J /"Herefore  are  the  Heathen 
forsaken  of  God.,  and  be 
the  cursed  people  of  the  worldc  ? 
Because  they  forsake  or  refuse 
the  Lords  couenaunt  and  gou- 
ernement:  and  therefore  they 
leade  an  vngodly  and  worldly 
life. 


1  Browne's  Booke  embraces  1S5  Questions,  each  with  answer,  counter-question,  definition, 
and  division  as  above  given.  Each  series  extends  over  parts  of  two  opposite  pages.  This  first 
question,  with  its  train  of  subdivisions,  may  serve  as  an  e.xample  of  the  whole  book,  but  so  little 
additional  is  contained  in  the  repetitious  matter  that  from  this  point  onward  I  give  only  the  ques- 
tions and  answers,  omitting  counter-questions,  definitions,  and  divisions.  I  have  also  changed  the 
type  from  here  onward  from  Old  English  to  Roman. 


[Questions  2  to  34  relate  to  the  knowledge  of  God  by  men,  His  nature,  attri- 
butes, providence,  the  fall  of  man  and  salvation  by  Christ.  These  doctrines  are 
treated  in  the  usual  Calvinistic  sense,  and  present  nothing  peculiar  to  Browne.] 

\20 '  ]  jj      What  is  our  callin^^  and  leading  vnto  this  happines  ?  ^ 

In  the  new  Testament  our  calling  is  in  plainer  maner:  as  by 
the  first  planting  and  gathering  of  the  church  vnder  one  kinde  of 
gouernement. 

Also  by  a  further  plating  of  the  church  according  to  that 
gouernement. 

But  in  the  olde  Testament,  our  calling  was  by  shadowes  and 
ceremonies,  as  among  the  lewes. 

j6  Howe  must' the  churche  he  frst  planted  and  gathered  vnder  one 
kinde  of  gouerne?nent  ? 


1  The  bracketed  numbe»6  indicate  the  pages  of  Browne's  work. 
^  I.  e.,  the  happiness  purchased  by  Christ. 


EXTRACTS  FROM  BROWNE  S  UOUK 


19 


Definitions. 


Dii/isioiis. 


[3] 


Their  knovvlcds 


The  Godhead. 


'  Christians  are  a  companie  or  number  of 
beleeuers,  which  by  a  willing  couenaunt 
made  with  their  God,  are  vnder  the  gou- 
ernement  of  God  and  Christ,  and  keepe 
his  Lawes  in  one  holie  communion:  Be- 
cause they  are  redeemed  by  Christe  vnto 
holines  &  happines  for  euer,  from  whiche 
they  were  fallen  by  the  sinne  of  Adam. 


Christians 

luhicke 

should  leade 

a  godlie  life 


By  knowing 
God  and  the 
dueties  of 
zodlinesse. 


By  keeping 
those  dueties. 


First  by  a  couenant  and  condicion,  made  on  Gods  behalfe. 

Secondlie  by  a  couenant  and  condicion  made  on  our  behalfe. 

Thirdlie  by  vsing  tlie  sacrament  of  Baptisme  to  scale  those 
condicions,  and  couenantes. 

J  J      ]Vhat  is  the  eoiteiia/it,  or  condicion  on  Gods  behalfe  1 

His  promise  to  be  our  God  and  sauiour,  if  we  forsake  not  his 
gouernement  by  disobedience. 

Also  his  promise  to  be  the  God  of  our  seede,  while  we  are  his 
people. 

Also  the  gifte  of  his  spirit  to  his  children  as  an  inwarde  calling 
and  furtheraunce  of  godlines. 

\22\  j8      JVhat  is  the  couenant  or  condicion  on  our  behalfe  ? 

We  must  offer  and  geue  vp  our  selues  to  be  of  the  church  and 
people  of  God. 

We  must  likewise  offer  and  geue  vp  our  children  and  others, 


20  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

being  vnder  age,  if  tliey  be  of  our  householde  and  we  haue  full 
power  ouer  them. 

We  must  make  profession,  that  we  are  his  people,  by  sub- 
mitting our  selues  to  his  lawes  and  gouernement. 

jg     How  must  Baptisme  be  vsed,  as  a  scale  of  this  coucuaunt  ? 

They  must  be  duelie  presented,  and  offered  to  God  and  the 
church,  which  are  to  be  Baptised. 

They  must  be  duelie  receiued  vnto  grace  and  fellowship. 

40     Ho7ii  must  they  be  presented  and  offered! 

The  children  of  the  faithfull,  though  they  be  infantes  are  to 
be  offered  to  God  and  the  church,  that  they  may  be  Baptised. 

Also  those  infantes  or  children  which  are  of  the  householde  of 
the  faithfull,  and  vnder  their  full  power. 

Also  all  of  discretion  which  are  not  baptised,  if  they  holde 
the  Christian  profession,  and  shewe  forth  the  same. 

[ 2-/]   41     Ho7u  7nust  they  be  receaued  vnto  grace  and  feUoshippe  ? 

The  worde  must  be  duely  preached  in  an  holie  assemblie. 

The  signe  or  Sacrament  must  be  applied  thereto. 

42     How  must  the  word  be  preached  ? 

The  preacher  being  called  and  meete  thereto,  must  shewe  the 
redemption  of  christians  by  Christ,  and  the  promises  receaued  by 
faith  as  before. 

Also  they  must  shewe  the  right  vse  of  that  redemption,  in 
suffering  with  Christ  to  dye  vnto  sinne  by  repetance. 

Also  the  raising  and  quickning  again  vpon  repentance. 

4j     Ho7i.'e  must  the  signe  be  applied  thereto  ? 

The  bodies  of  the  parties  baptised,  must  be  washed  w'  water, 
or  sprinckled  or  dipped,  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  y*" 
Sonne,  and  of  the  holy  Ghost,  vnto  the  forgeuenes  of  sinnes,  and 
dying  thereto  in  one  death  and  burial  with  Christ. 

The  preacher  must  pronounce  the  to  be  baptised  into  y^  bodie 
and  gouernement  of  Christ,  to  be  taught  &  to  professe  his  lawes, 
that  by  his  mediatio  &  victorie,  they  might  rise  againe  with  him 
vnto  holines  &:  happines  for  euer.  The  church  must  geue  thankes 
for  the  partie  baptised,  and  praye  for  his  further  instruction,  and 
traininge  vnto  saluation. 

[2(5]  44  How  must  it  [the  church]  he  further  builded,  accord- 
inge  vnto  churche  gouernement  ? 

First  by  communion  of  the  graces  &:  offices  in  the  head  of  y' 
church,  which  is  Christ. 

Secondlly,  by  communion  of  the  graces  and  ofifices  in  the 
bodie,  which  is  the  church  of  Christ. 


EXTRACTS   FRO.\r    BROWNE  S   BOOK  21 

Thirdly,  by  vsing  the  Sacrament  of  the  Lords  supper,  as  a 
scale  of  this  communion. 

^j*  Howe  hath  the  chui-chc  the  communion  of  those  graces  <s^ 
offices,  which  are  in  Christ  / 

It  hath  the  vse  of  his  priesthoode  :  because  he  is  the  high 
Priest  thereof. 

Also  of  his  prophccie:  because  he  is  the  Prophet  thereof. 

Also  of  his  kingdome  and  gouernenient:  because  he  is  the 
kynge  and  Lord  thereof. 

46     JVhat  vse  hath  the  chiirche  of  his  priesthoode  ? 

Thereby  he  is  our  mediatour,  and  we  present  and  offer  vppe 
our  praiers  in  his  name,  because  by  his  intreatie,  our  sinnes  are 
forge  u  en. 

Also  he  is  our  iustification,  because  by  his  attonement  we  are 
iustified. 

Also  he  is  our  sanctification,  because  he  partaketh  vnto  vs  his 
holines  and  spiritual!  graces. 

[2c?]  ^j     What  vse  hath  the  church  of  his  prophecie  ? 

He  him  selfe  hath  taught  vs,  and  geuen  vs  his  lawes. 

He  preacheth  vnto  vs  by  his  worde  &  message  in  the  mouthes 
of  his  messengers. 

He  appoynteth  to  euerie  one  their  callinges  and  dueties. 

4S     What  vse  hath  the  churche  of  his  kinglie  office  ? 

By  that  he  executeth  his  lawes:  First,  by  ouerseeing  and  try- 
ing out  wickednes. 

Also  by  priuate  or  open  rebuke,  of  priuate  or  open  offenders. 

Also  by  separation  of  the  wilfull,  or  more  greeuous  offenders. 

[30]  4p  What  vse  hath  the  churche  of  the  graces  and  offices 
vnder  Christ  ? 

It  hath  those  which  haue  office  of  teaching  and  guiding. 

Also  those  which  haue  office  of  cherishing  and  releeuing  the 
afflicted  &  poore. 

Also  it  hath  the  graces  of  all  the  brethren  and  people  to  doo 
good  withal  1. 

50     Who  haue  the  grace  cb^  office  of  teaching  and  guiding  ? 

Some  haue  this  charge  and  ofifice  together,  which  can  not  be 
sundred. 

Some  haue  their  seueral  charge  ouer  manie  churches. 

Some  haue  charge  but  in  one  church  onlie. 

5/     Hoia  haue  some  their  charge  and  office  together  ? 

There  be  Synodes  or  meetings  of  sundrie  churches:  which  are 
when  the  weaker  churches  seeke  helpe  of  the  stronger,  for  decid- 


22  BROWNE  S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

ing  or  redressing  of  matters:  or  else  the  stronger  looke  to  them  for 
redresse. 

There  is  also  prophecie,  or  meetings  for  the  vse  of  euerie 
mans  gift,  in  talk  or  reasoning,  or  exhortation  and  doctrine. 

There  is  the  Eldershippe,  or  meetings  of  the  most  forwarde 
and  wise,  for  lookinge  to  matters. 

[S^]  S^      117/0  Jiaue  their  sciicral  charge  oner  /Jianv  churches  ? 

Apostles  had  charge  ouer  many  churches. 

Likewise  Prophetes,  which  had  their  reuelations  or  visions. 

Likewise  helpers  vnto  these,  as  Euagelistes,  and  companions 
of  their  iourneis. 

jj  IFho  Jiaiie  their  seuerall  charge  in  one  Chiirche  oneI\\  to  teache 
and  guide  the  same  ? 

The  Pastour,  or  he  which  hath  the  guift  of  exhorting,  and 
applying  especiallie. 

The  Teacher,  or  he  whiche  hath  the  guift  of  teaching  espe- 
cially :  and  lesse  guift  of  exhorting  and  applying. 

They  whiche  helpe  vnto  them  both  in  ouerseeing  and  counsail- 
inge,  as  the  most  forward  or  Elders. 

_^4  J  J  7/0  hauc  office  of  cherishing  and  reieeuing  the  afflicted  and 
poore  ? 

The  Releeuers  or  Deacons,  which  are  to  gather  and  bestowe 
the  church  liberalitie. 

The  Widowes,  which  are  to  praye  for  the  church,  with  attend- 
aunce  to  the  sicke  and  afflicted  thereof. 

\J4\  SS  How  hath  the  church  the  7'se  of  those  graces,  li'h/icJi  al 
y^  brethre  ^y'  people   haue  to  do  good  witJ/al  / 

Because  euerie  one  of  the  church  is  made  a  Kinge,  a  Priest, 
and  a  Prophet  vnder  Christ,  to  vpholde  and  further  the  kingdom 
of  God,  &  to  breake  and  destroie  the  kingdome  of  Antichrist, 
and  Satan. 

j6     Howe  are  ive  made  Kinges  ? 

We  must  all  watch  one  an  other,  and  trie  out  all  wickednes. 

We  must  priuatlie  and  openlie  rebuke,  the  priuat  and  open 
offendours.  We  must  also  separate  the  w'ilful  and  more  greeuous 
offenders,  and  withdraw  our  selues  fro  them,  and  gather  the 
righteous  togither. 

57     Hoiu  are  all  Christians  made  Priestes  vnder  Christ  ? 

They  present  and  offer  vp  praiers  vnto  God,  for  them  selues 
&  for  others. 

They  turne  others  from  iniquitie,  so  that  attonement  is  made 
in  Christ  unto  iustification. 


EXTRACTS    FROM    F.RcnVNE'S   BOOK  23 

In  them  also  and  for  them  others  are  sanctified,  by  partaking 
the  graces  of  Christ  vnto  them. 

jc?    Hoiv  arc  all  Christians  made prophctcs  vndcr  Christ? 

They  teach  the  lawes  of  Christ,  and  talke  and  reason  for  the 
maintenauce  of  them. 

They  exhorte,  moue,  and  stirre  vp  to  the  keeping  of  his 
lawes.     They  appoint,  counsel,  and  tell  one  another  their  dueties. 

[j*^]  59  How  Jimst  we  vse  the  Sacrament  of  the  Lords  supper ^ 
as  a  scale  of  this  eoi/u/iit/iion  ? 

There  must  be  a  due  preparation  to  receaue  the  Lords  sup- 
per.    And  a  due  ministration  thereof. 

60  What  preparation  must  there  be  to  receaue  the  Lords  supper  ? 
There  must  be  a  separation  fro  those  which  are  none  of  the 

church,  or  be  vnmeete  to  receaue,  that  the  worthie  may  be  oncly 
receaued. 

All  open  offences  and  faultings  must  be  redressed. 

All  must  proue  and  examine  them  selues,  that  their  conscience 
be  cleare  by  faith  and  repentance,  before  they  receaue. 

61  Lfow  is  the  supper  rightlie  ministrcd? 
The  worde  must  be  duelie  preached. 

And  the  signe  or  sacrament  must  be  rightlie  applied  thereto. 

[jc?]   62     How  must  the  worde  be  dulie  preached  I 

The  death  and  tormentes  of  Christ,  by  breaking  his  bodie  and 
sheading  his  bloud  for  our  sinnes,  must  be  shewed  by  the  lawfull 
preacher. 

Also  he  must  shewe  the  spirtuall  vse  of  the  bodie  &:  bloud 
of  Christ  Jesus,  by  a  spirituall  feeding  thereon,  and  growinge  into 
it,  by  one  holie  communion. 

Also  our  thankefulnes,  and  further  profiting  in  godlines  vnto 
life  euerlasting. 

\4o\  6j     LLow  must  the  signe  be  applied  thereto  ? 

The  preacher  must  take  breade  and  blesse  and  geue  thankes, 
and  the  must  he  breake  it  and  pronounce  it  to  be  the  body  of 
Christ,  which  was  broken  for  the,  that  by  fayth  they  might  feede 
thereon  spirituallie  &  growe  into  one  spiritual  bodie  of  Christ, 
and  so  he  eating  thereof  him  selfe,  must  bidd  them  take  and  eate 
it  among  them,  &  feede  on  Oirist  in  their  consciences. 

Likewise  also  must  he  take  the  cuppe  and  blesse  and  geue 
thankes,  and  so  pronounce  it  to  be  the  bloud  of  Christ  in  the  newe 
Testament,  which  was  shedd  for  remission  of  sinnes,  that  by 
fayth  we  might  drinke  it  spirtuallie,  and  so  be  nourished  in  one 
spirituall  bodie  of  Christ,  all  sinne  being  clensed  away,  and  then  he 


24  BROWNE'S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

drinking  thereof  himselfe  must  bydd  them  drinke  there  of  hke- 
wise  and  diuide  it  amog  them,  and  feede  on  Christe  in  their  con- 
sciences. 

Then  muste  they  all  geue  thankes  praying  for  their  further 
profiting  in  godhnes  &  vowing  their  obedience. 

[Questions  64  to  8 1  relate  to  the  Jewish  dispensation  ;  and  Questions  82  to  iii 
to  Christian  graces  and  duties.     Two  of  the  latter  are  of  interest.] 

[(5c?]  no  What  spcciall  fitrtJicraunce  of  t/ie  kiiigdome  of  God  is 
titer  ? 

In  taike  to  edifie  one  an  other  by  praising  God,  and  declar- 
ing his  will  by  rebuke  or  exhortation. 

In  doubt  and  controuersie  to  sweare  by  his  name  on  iust  occa- 
sions, and  to  vse  lottes. 

Also  to  keepe  the  meetinges  of  the  church,  and  with  our 
especiall  friends  for  spirituall  exercises. 

III.      JV/iat  special  duties  he  ther  for  the  Sabhathe  ? 

All  the  generall  duties  of  religion  &  holines  towards  God, 
and  all  the  speciall  dueties  of  worshipping  God,  &  furthering  his 
kingdome,  must  on  the  Sabbath  be  performed,  with  ceasing  from 
our  callinges  &  labour  in  worldlye  thinges.  Yet  such  busines 
as  can  not  be  putt  of  tyll  the  dale  after,  nor  done  the  dale  before, 
may  then  be  done. 

[Questions  112  to  185, —  the  remainder  of  the  book, —  relate  to  the  duties  of 
man  to  man.] 

[70]  JI2      Whiche  bee  the  dueties  of  righteousnes  concerning  man  ? 

They  be  eyther  more  bounden,  as  the  generall  dueties  in 
gouernement  betwene  gouernours  and  inferiours: 

Or  they  be  more  free,  as  the  generall  dueties  of  free- 
dome. 

Or  else  they  be  more  speciall  duties  for  eche  others 
name,  and  for  auoyding  couetousnes. 

II J      What  be  the  dueties  of  Gouernours? 

They  consist  in  the  entraunce  of  that  calling. 

And  in  the  due  execution  thereof  by  ruling  well. 

114     How  must  Superiours  enter  and  take  their  calling  ? 

By  assuraunce  of  their  guift. 

By  speciall  charge  and  commaundemente  from  God  to  put  it 
in  practise. 

By  agreement  of  men. 

iij      What  gift  must  they  hauel 


EXTRACTS    FROM    BROWNE'S   BOOK  25 

All  Gouernours  must  haue  forwardnes  before  others,  in 
knowledge  and  godlines,  as  able  to  guide. 

And  some  must  haue  age  and  eldershippe. 

Also  some  must  haue  parentage  and  birth. 

[72]  116  What  charge  or  couunatm dement  of  God  must  they 
haue  to  vse  their  guift? 

They  haue  first  the  speciall  commaundement  of  furthering  his 
kingdome,  by  edifyinge  and  helping  of  others,  where  there  is  occa- 
sion and  persones  be  worthie. 

Also  some  speciall  prophecie  and  foretelling  of  their  calling, 
or  some  generall  commaundement  for  the  same. 

Also  particular  warninges  from  God  vnknowne  to  the  world, 
as  in  oulde  time  by  vision,  dreame,  and  reuelation,  and  now  by  a 
speciall  working  of  Gods  spirite  in  our  consciences. 

7/7     7uhat  agreement  must  there  be  of  men  ? 

For  Church  gouernours  there  must  be  an  agreement  of  the 
church. 

For  ciuil  Magistrates,  there  must  be  an  agreement  of  the 
people  or  Common  welth. 

For  Houshoulders,  there  must  be  an  agreement  of  the  hous- 
houldes.  As  Husbandes,  Parents,  Maisters,  Teachers,  or  Schole- 
maisters,  &c. 

[74\  118  What  agreement  must  there  he  of  the  church,  for  the 
calling  of  church  gouernours  ? 

They  must  trie  their  guiftes  and  godlines. 

They  must  receyue  them  by  obedience  as  their  guides  and 
teachers,  where  they  plante  or  establish  the  church. 

They  must  receyue  them  by  choyse  where  the  church  is 
])lanted.' 

The  agreement  also  for  the  calling  of  ciuill  magistrates  should 
be  like  vnto  this,  excepting  their  Pompe  and  outward  power,  and 
orders  established  meete  for  the  people. 

up      JFhat  choyse  should  there  be  2 

The  praiers  and  huml)ling  of  all,  with  fasting  and  exhortation, 
that  God  may  be  chiefe  in  the  choise. 

The  consent  of  the  people  must  be  gathered  by  the  Elders  or 
guides,  and  testifyed  by  voyce,  presenting,  or  naming  of  some,  or 
other  tokens,  that  they  approue  them  as  meete  for  that  calling. 


1  The  meaning  of  this  blind  passage  is,  I  take  it,  that  where  the  minister  gathers  a  church 
and  it  originates  through  his  labors,  he  is  to  be  received  by  it  "by  obedience  ";  but  where  an  already 
established  church  calls  a  minister,  he  is  to  be  received  "by  choyse." 

3 


26  BROWNE'S   CONGREGATIONALISM 

The  Elders  or  forwardest  must  ordeine,  and  pronounce  them, 
with  prayer  and  imposition  of  handes,  as  called  and  authorised  of 
God,  and  receyued  of  their  charg  to  that  calling. 

Yet  imposition  of  handes  is  no  essentiall  pointe  of  their  call- 
ing, but  it  ought  to  be  left,  when  it  is  turned  into  pompe  or  super- 
stition. 

[7<5]  I20  IV/iaf  agrcciiicnt  iniisf  t/icr  be  in  the  Iioitse/ioldcs,  for 
the  goiiernemeut  of  tJieiii  ? 

There  must  be  an  agrement  of  Husband  and  Wife,  of 
Parentes  &  Children  :  Also  of  Maister  and  Seruant,  and  likewise 
of  Teachers  &  Schollers,  &c. 

This  agreement  betweene  parentes  and  children  is  of  naturall 
■desert  and  duetie  betweene  them  : 

But  in  the  other  there  must  be  triall  and  iudgment  of  ech 
others  meetnes  for  their  likinge  and  callinge,  as  is  shewed  before. 

Also  there  must  be  a  due  couenaunt  betweene  them. 

[/c?]  121  How  must  Super  ion  rs  execute  their  callinge  by  ruling 
their  iuferiours  ? 

They  must  esteeme  right  and  due. 

They  must  vphould  the  same  : 

By  appointing  to  others,  their  dueties. 

They  must  take  accountes. 

122     How  must  they  esteeme  right  and  due  ? 

They  must  be  zealouse  for  equitie  and  innocencie. 

They  must  loue  those  and  reioyse  ouer  them,  which  doe  their 
dueties. 

They  must  hate  all  vanite  and  wickednes  and  be  angrie  and 
greened  therat. 

[c?o]  I2J  How  must  thev  appoint  vnto  others  their  worke  and 
duetie  ? 

They  must  teach  them. 

They  must  direct  them  by  their  guiding  and  helpe. 

They  must  giue  them  good  example. 

124     Hozc  must  they  teach  them  ? 

They  must  teach  them  the  groundes  of  religion,  and  the  mean- 
ing of  the  Scriptures. 

They  must  exhort  and  dehort  particularly  for  reformation  of 
their  Hues. 

They  must  require  thinges  againe  which  are  taught,  by 
particular  applying  and  trying  their  guift. 

[c?2]   i2j      How  must  they  direct  them  by  their  guiding  and  helpe  ? 


EXTRACTS  FROM  BROWNE'S  BOOK  27 

They  must  guide  the  in  the  worshipp  of  God,  as  in  the  Worde, 
Praier,  Thanlvsgiuing,  &c. 

They  must  gather  their  Voices,  Doubtes  and  Questions,  and 
determine  Controuersies. 

They  must  particularlie  commaunde  and  tell  them  their 
dueties. 

126     Ho-u'  iiiiist  they  take  accountcs  ? 

They  must  continually  watch  them  by  visiting  and  looking  to 
them  them  selues,  and  by  others  helping  vnto  them. 

They  must  trie  out  and  search  their  state  and  behauiour  by 
accusations  and  chardgings  with  witnesses. 

They  must  reforme  or  recompense  by  rebuke  or  separation 
the  wicked  and  vnruly. 

\^&'4\  I2~  what  say  you  of  the  dueties  of  siibwission  to  Supe- 
riours  ? 

They  consist  in  esteeming  them. 

In  honoring  them. 

In  seruing  them. 

[The    remainingf  Questions  and  Answers  contain    so   little  that  is  peculiar  to 
Browne  that  I  have  omitted  them.J 


I 


II 

THE    LONDON    CONFESSION    OF    1589 

Editions  and  Reprints 

I.  A  Trve  Description  ovt  \  of  the  Word  of  God,  \  of  the  visible  Church. 
Without  title  page.     Dated  1589  at  the  end.     Printed  at  Dort.     4°  pp.  8. 

II.  The  same  in  form  and  with  the  same  date,  the  only  variation  from  the 
first  edition  being  a  rearrangement  of  the  order  of  the  paragraphs  treating  of  ex- 
communication.    Printed  at  Amsterdam  before  1602.' 

III.  With  the  substitution  of  Congregation  for  Church  in  the  title  and  other 
passages  ;  and  a  few  minor  verbal  changes.     Printed  at  [?]  1641.     4°  pp.  8.- 

IV.  The  text  of  the  first  edition  was  reprinted  and  criticised  paragraph  by- 
paragraph  by  R.  Alison,  A  Plaine  Confutation  of  a  Treatise  of  Brownisine,  Pub- 
lished by  some  of  tliat  Faction,  Entittded  A  Description,  etc.,  London,  1590. 

V.  The  text  of  the  second  edition  was  reprinted  in  Lawne,  Brownisme  Tvrncd 
the  In-side  Out-ward,  etc.,  London,  1613.  Also,  VI.  in  Wall,  Alore  Work  for  the 
Dean,  London,  1681,  pp.  20-2S.  Also,  VII.  in  Hanbury,  Historical  Memorials 
Relating  to  the  Independents,  etc.,  London,  1839-44,  I  :  28-34. 

LITER.4TURE 

Beside  the  controversial  pamphlets  already  cited,  the  Creed  is  treated  briefly 
in  Hanbury,  Memorials,  I  :  25-27.  By  far  the  most  satisfactory  and  complete  dis- 
cussion of  this  interesting  document  is,  however,  to  be  found  in  Dexter,  The  Congre- 
gationalism of  the  last  three  hundred  years,  pp.  258-262. 

THE  abandonment  by  Browne  of  the  work  which  he  had  un- 
dertaken and  the  rupture  of  his  exiled  flock  at  Middelburg 
did  not  bring  the  Congregational  movement  to  an  end.  As 
has  been  seen,  a  portion  of  Browne's  congregation  appear  to  have 
maintained    their   organization    at    Norwich,    though    nothing    is 


1  I  am  indebted  to  the  late  Rev.  Dr.  H.  M.  Dexter  for  the  following  facts  regarding  these  edi- 
tions :  —  The  place  of  publication  of  the  first  edition  and  the  circumstances  of  the  issuance  of  the 
second  are  made  clear  by  a  passage  in  Henoch  Clapham,  Errotir  on  the  Right  Hand,  etc.,  Lon- 
don, 1608,  p.  II,  in  which  he  declared  that  this  Trve  Descriptioii  was  originally  printed  at  D[ort], 
where  Barrowe's  other  writings  were  printed;  but  that  a  second  edition,  bearing  the  original  date, 
was  brought  out,  "some  yeares  after  his  [Barrowes]  death,"  at  A[msterdam]  at  the  expense  of 
Arthur  Billet  or  Bellot.  In  this  second  edition,  Clapham  affirms,  the  paragraph  beginning:  "All 
this  notwithstanding,"  was  transferred  from  its  original  place  "after  the  excommunication"  (ap- 
parently after  the  paragraph  commencing :  "  Further,  they  are  towarne"),  and  inserted  after  the 
paragraph:  "If  the  fault  be  private;"  the  intention  being,  it  is  charged,  to  make  excommunica- 
tion a  severer  matter  than  Barrowe  intended  —  he  believing  it  to  be  "  a  power  to  edification  not  to 
destruction."  Arthur  Billet  died  in  Febr.,  1602. 
2  See  Hanbury,  Memorials,  1 :  28. 

(28) 


BARROWE   AND    GREENWOOD  29 

known  regarding  their  state  and  fortunes.'  But  Congregational 
believers  carried  the  doctrine  to  other  cities,  though  their  move- 
ments are  now  impossible  to  trace. '^  We  are  first  certainly  aware 
of  the  existence  of  a  Separatist  congregation  in  London  in  1587 
or  1588,  though  it  may  have  been  formed  a  year  or  two  earlier.' 
But  so  hunted  was  it  by  the  officers  of  the  law  that  a  large  pro- 
portion of  its  membership  were  imprisoned,  and  though  certain 
church  acts,  such  as  the  admission  of  members  and  the  excom- 
munication of  the  unworthy,  were  performed,  the  severity  of  the 
persecution  prevented  the  election  of  appropriate  church  officers 
till  September,  1592,  when  Francis  Johnson  was  chosen  pastor, 
John  (ireenwood  teacher,  and  two  elders  and  two  deacons  asso- 
ciated with  them.'' 

Yet  three  years  before  its  full  organization  this  struggling 
London  church,  in  the  persons  of  its  two  leading  members,  put 
forth  the  creed  which  is  the  subject  of  present  discussion.  The 
principles  enunciated  by  Browne,  which  have  just  been  considered, 
though  doubtless  those  in  accordance  with  which  his  congregation 
was  gathered,  were  published  by  him  and  his  friend  Harrison  as 
a  missionary  tractate  rather  than  a  church  creed.  The  publica- 
tion, and  probably  the  composition,  of  this  London  symbol  has 
been  traced  conclusively^  to   Henry  Barrowe"  and  John   Green- 


'  See  anti\  p.  ii. 

''The  Preface  to  the  Confession  of  1596,  given  in  the  next  chapter,  speaks  of  sufferers  for 
Congregationalism  in  London,  Norwich,  Gloucester,  Bury  St.  Edmunds,  and  "  manye  other  places 
of  the  land." 

3  De.Nter,  Cotig.  as  seen,  pp.  255,  634.  If  Greenwood's  arrest  was  in  15S6,  the  congregation 
must  certainly  have  been  formed  even  earlier  than  15S7. 

^  Ibid.,  pp.  232,  264,  265. 

s  Ibid.,  pp.  234,  258-262. 

"  Henry  Barrowe,  one  of  the  most  noted  and  deserving  of  the  proclaimers  of  modern 
Congregationalisn\,  was  of  a  good  Norfolk  family,  and  from  1566  to  his  graduation  as  Bachelor  in 
1565-70  he  was  a  student  at  Clare  Hall,  in  the  Puritanically  inclined  University  of  Cambridge. 
But  whatever  may  have  been  the  influences  with  which  he  was  then  surrounded,  he  left  the  Uni- 
versity an  irreligious  man.  Turning  his  attention  to  the  study  of  law,  he  was  admitted  a  member 
of  Gray's  Inn  in  1576  ;  and,  through  what  means  we  know  not,  he  became  personally  acquainted 
with  Queen  Elizabeth,  to  whose  court  and  presence  he  had  access.  A  chance  sermon  was  the 
means  of  his  conversion,  and  his  conversion  was  followed  by  the  adoption  of  the  strictest  Puri- 
tan principles.  Acquaintance  with  Greenwood,  it  would  appear,  led  him,  some  time  possibly  be- 
fore 1586,  to  embrace  Congregational  views.  His  visit  to  his  friend  Greenwood,  in  the  place  of  the 
latter's  imprisonment,  was  the  occasion  of  his  own  arrest  in  Nov.,  1586.  From  that  time  onward 
to  his  execution,  April  6,  1593,  ^^  ^^'^^  ^  prisoner,  at  first  in  the  Clink,  and  then  in  the  Fleet  in 
London.  His  unwearied  literary  activity,  under  the  most  discouraging  circumstances,  made  this 
long  period  of  imprisonment  the  most  productive  portion  of  his  life.     Beside  his  elaborate  cxposi- 


I 


30  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 589 

wood/  then  prisoners  for  their  faith,  shut  up  in  the  Fleet  prison 
in  London,  and  four  years  later  to  give  their  lives  as  martyrs  to 
the  truths  here  set  forth.  Though  the  statement  nowhere  appears 
in  the  document  itself,  the  circumstances  of  the  publication  of 
the  first  and  second  editions,  as  far  as  they  can  now  be  ascer- 
tained, certainly  justify  the  conclusion  that  we  have  here  not 
only  the  expression  of  the  individual  beliefs  of  Barrowe  and 
Greenwood,  but  a  statement  which  the  partially  formed  church  in 
London  looked  upon  as  expressive  of  the  views  of  the' whole 
brotherhood.     It  is,  therefore,  essentially  a  church  creed. 

The  Trve  Description  is  substantially  an  ideal  sketch.  It 
could  not  well  be  otherwise.  Shut  up  in  prison  for  the  advocacy 
of  the  opinions  here  presented,  the  framers  of  this  creed  could 
look  nowhere  upon  earth  for  full  exemplification  of  the  polity  in 
which  they  believed.  The  church-order  which  they  longed  for 
was,  they  were  confident,  of  the  divinely  appointed  pattern. 
They  read  its  outlines  in  the  New  Testament.  But  they  had  had 
no  experience  with  its  practical  workings,  and  hence  they  pictured 
a   greater  degree  of    spiritual  unity  and  brotherliness  than  even 


tion  of  Congregational  principles  in  his  Brief  Discouerie  of  tlic  false  Church,  1590,  and  the 
Plaine  Refutation  of  M.  Giffards  Booke^  etc.,  1591,  which  was  to  be  the  means  of  Francis  John- 
son's conversion  to  Congregationalism,  Barrowe  had  a  share  in  three  controversial  pamphlets.  The 
pathetic  story  of  Barrowe's  imprisonment  and  death,  with  some  account  of  his  writings,  may  be 
found  in  the  work  of  Dr.  Dexter,  already  cited,  pp.  211-245.  Other  sources  of  information  are 
Brook,  Lives  of  the  Puritans,  London,  1813,  II :  23-44  >  Cooper,  Athencs  Cantabrigienses,  Cam- 
bridge [England],  1861,  II:  151-153  ;  Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  Neiu  England  Churches,  New  York, 
1874,  pp.  <ji-T$^,  passim ;  A.  B.  Grosart,  in  the  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,  III:  297, 
298  (London  and  New  York,  18S5).  Additional  references  may  be  found  appended  to  the  articles 
of  Cooper  and  Grosart. 

1  John  Greenwood,  the  associate  of  Barrowe  in  his  imprisonment  and  death,  and  his  fellow- 
worker  in  the  production  of  most  of  the  writings  mentioned  in  the  previous  note,  was  of  less  con- 
spicuous social  station  than  Barrowe,  and  somewhat  younger  in  age.  His  education  was  obtained 
at  Corpus  Christi  College,  Cambridge,  where  he  was  a  sizar  or  pecuniarily  assisted  student ;  and 
upon  graduating  in  1580-1  he  had  entered  the  established  ministry,  and  been  duly  ordained  to  the 
diaconate  and  priesthood.  His  Puritan  views  led  him  for  a  time  to  serve  as  chaplain  in  the 
family  of  the  Puritan  Lord  Rich  of  Rockford,  Esse.x  ;  but  his  progress  toward  Congregationalism 
was  decided,  and  by  15S6  he  was  preaching,  as  opportunity  would  permit,  in  London.  His  friend- 
ship with  Barrowe  has  already  been  mentioned.  Cast  into  prison  in  the  autumn  of  1586,  he  was 
released,  apparently  on  bail,  for  a  short  time  in  1592,  and  in  September  of  that  year  was  elected 
teacher  by  the  London  church,  then  for  the  first  time  choosing  officers.  His  recommittal  to  prison 
speedily  followed,  and  on  April  6,  1593,  he  was  hanged.  Though  a  man  of  considerable  ability, 
his  part  in  the  writings  issued  in  conjunction  with  Barrowe  was  evidently  secondary.  Compare  Dex- 
ter, Congregationalism  as  see7i,  f)^.  211-245;  Tirook,  Lives  of  the  Puritans,  11:23-44;  Bacon, 
Genesis  of  the  N.  E.  Churches,  pp.  93-154,  passim;  Cooper,  Athence  Cantabrigienses,  II:  153, 
154;  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,  XXIII:  84,  85.  Further  bibliographical  references 
may  be  found  in  connection  with  the  two  articles  last  cited. 


NATURE   UF   THE   CONFESSION  3 1 

Cliristian  men  and  women  have  usually  shown  themselves  capable 
of,  and  they  made  little  provision  for  the  avoidance  of  the  fric- 
tion inevitable  at  times  in  conducting  the  most  harmonious  socie- 
ties composed  of  still  imperfect  men.  Ikit  the  essential  features  of 
early  Congregationalism  are  here.  It  is  first  of  all  a  "Description 
ovt  of  the  ^Vord  of  dod."  The  Bible  is  made  the  ultimate 
standard  in  all  matters  of  church  government,  as  well  as  points  of 
doctrine.  Its  delineations  of  church  polity  and  administration 
are  looked  upon  as  furnishing  an  ample  and  authoritative  rule  for 
the  church  in  all  ages.  This  true  church  is  not  the  whole  body 
of  the  baptized  inhabitants  of  a  kingdom,  but  a  company  of  men 
who  can  lay  claim  to  personal  Christian  experience,  and  who  are 
united  to  one  another  and  to  Christ  in  mutual  fellowship.  The 
nature  of  the  officers  of  this  church,  their  number,  duties,  and 
character,  are  all  held  to  be  ascertainable  from  the  same  God- 
given  Word.  They  are  not  the  bishops,  priests,  and  deacons  of 
the  Anglican  hierarchy,  but  are  pastor  and  teacher,  elders,  deacons, 
and  widows  ;  and  they  hold  their  office  not  by  royal  appointment 
or  the  nomination  of  a  patron,  but  "  by  the  holy  &  free  election 
of  the  Lordes  holie  and  free  people."  The  whole  administration 
of  the  church  is  the  concern  of  all  the  brethren,  and  the  laws 
governing  this  administration  are  all  derivable  from  the  Script- 
ures. But  on  this  very  question  of  administration,  while  the 
Trve  Description  is  not  as  clear  as  we  could  wish,  it  is  plain  that 
the  creed  is  far  removed  from  the  practical  democracy  of  Robert 
Browne  or  the  usage  of  modern  Congregationalism.  The  elders 
are  indeed  chosen  by  the  whole  church,  but  once  having  chosen 
them,  the  people  are  to  be  "  most  humble,  meek,  obedient,  faith- 
full,  and  loving."  The  elders  are  to  see  that  the  other  officers 
do  their  duties  aright,  and  the  people  obey.  But  who  shall  see 
that  the  elders  do  their  duty,  or  who  shall  seriously  limit  them  in 
their  action  ?  That  is  not  made  clear.  It  is  evident  that  the 
Trve  Description  would  place  the  elders  apart  from  and  above  the 
brethren  as  a  ruling  class,  having  the  initiative  in  business,  being 
themselves  the  church  in  all  matters  of  excommunication,  and 
leaving  to  the  brethren   only  the  power  of  election,  approval  of 


52  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 589 

the  elders'  actions,  and  an  undefined  right  to  reprove  the  elders 
if  their  conduct  should  not  be  in  accord  with  the  New  Testament 
standard.  This  conception  of  the  elders  as  a  ruling  oligarchy  in 
the  church  is,  in  fact,  the  view  elaborated  by  Barrowe  in  his 
other  writings,  and  is  the  theory  which  Dr.  Dexter  happily  termed 
Barrowism,  in  distinction  from  the  unintentional  but  thorough- 
going democracy  of  Robert  Browne.'  It  is  a  theory  which  colors 
the  creeds  of  more  than  a  century  of  early  Congregationalism. 

The  almost  complete  absence  of  distinctly  doctrinal  state- 
ment in  this  creed  is  accounted  for  by  the  fact  that  these  London 
Separatists  were  in  full  doctrinal  sympathy  with  the  then  pre- 
dominantly Calvinistic  views  of  the  English  Established  Church 
from  which  they  had  come  out,  and  did  not  feel  the  necessity  of 
demonstrating  their  doctrinal  soundness,  as  they  were  shortly 
after  impelled  to  do,  when  settled  among  strangers  in  a  foreign 
land. 


1  See  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  io6,  107,  235-239,  351. 


The  Confkssk^n  of  15S9 

A  TRVE  DESCRIPTION  OVT 

OF    THE    WORD   OF   GOD, 
of  the  visible  Church.  ' 

AS  there  is  but  *  one  God  and  Father  of  all,  one  Lord  over  all, 
and  one  Spirit  :  So  is  there  but  \  one  truth,  one  Faith,  one 
Salvation,  one  Church,  called  in  one  hope,  ioyned  in  one 
profession,  guided  by  one  f  rule,  even  the  Word  of  the  most  high. 
"*'  Genes,  i.  i.  Fxod.  20.  j.  J  /  Ti/ii.  2.  4.  Phil,  i  .?/.  EpJic.  2.  iS. 
I  oh.  8  41.  t  Dent.  6.  2j.  Rom.  10.  8.  2  Tim.  j.  ij.  J  oh.  8,  j/. 
/  loh  2.  J,  4.  i>v. 

This  Church  as  it  is  vniversallie  vnderstood,  conteyneth  in  it 
all  the  ^  Elect  of  God  that  have  bin,  are,  or  shalbe  :  But  being 
considered  more  particularlie,  as  it  is  seen  in  this  present  world,  it 
consisteth  of  a  companie  and  fellowship  of*  faithful  and  holie 
people  I  gathered  in  the  name  of  Christ  lesus,  their  only  f  King, 
'  Priest,  and  ^  Prophet,*  worshipping  him  aright,  being  \  peace- 
ablie  and  quietlie  governed  by  his  Officers  and  lawes,t  keping  the 
vnitie  of  faith  in  the  bond  of  peace  &  love  'vnfained.  4  Genes.  17. 
chap.  I  Pet.  I  2.  Revel.  7.  9.  i  Cor.  10.  j.  loh.  //,  10.  20. 
*  Psai.  III.  I.  c^  I4p.  I.  Isa.  62.  12.  Ephes.  /,  i.  i  Cor.  i.  2. 
Dent.  14.  2.  \  Dent.  12,  5.  loh.  6,  jy  &-'  j.  14.  &=  12.  J2.  Luke  ij. 
jj.  t  Gen.  44.  10.  Psal.  4^  6.  Zaeh  p.  p.  Hcb.  /,  8.  '  Rom.  8.  J4. 
loh  IJ.  ehap.  Heh.  5.  p.  i>  <^,  7.  6^  4.  14.  ♦  Dciit.  18,  ij.  Mat. 
IJ.  J.  Heb.  I,  2.  Gen.  14.  18.  *  Exo  20.  4.  5.  6.  j.  8  Lei-.  10. 
J.  loh  4.  2j.  \  Mat.  II.  2p.  I  Cor.  11,  16.  Mar.  ij,  J4.  Re?: 
22.  p.  t  Ephe.  4.  J.  I  Cor.  i.  ij.  Mar.  p.  jO.  '  Loh.  ij.  34.  i  Cor. 
I  J.  4.     I  Pet.  I.  22.     I  Loh  J.  18. 

Most  *  ioyful,  excellent,  and  glorious  things  are  everie  where 
in  the  Scriptures  spoken  of  this  Church.  It  is  called  the  X  Citie, 
f  House  ^  Temple,  &  'mountaine  of  the  eternal  God  :  the  *  chosen 
generation,  the  holie  nation,  the  peculiar  people,  the  X  Vineyard, 
the  f  garden  enclosed,  the  spring  shut  vp,  the  sealed  fountaine,  the 


'  From  the  zd  ecUtion,  now  in  the  De.xter  Collection  of  Vale  University. 


34  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 589 

orchyard  of  pomgranates,  with  sweet  fruites,  the  #  heritage,  the 
"kiiigdome  of  Christ  :  [2 J  yea  his  *  sister,  his  love,  his  spouse,  his 
I  Queene,  c^e  his  f  bodie,  the  ioye  of  the  whole  earth.  To  this 
societie  is  the  ^  covenant  and  all  the  promises  made  of  *  peace, 
of  love,  and  I  of  salvation,  of  the  f  presence  of  God,  of  his  graces, 
of  his  power,  and  of  his  *  protection.  *  Psal.  87.  3.  \Ibid. 
\  I  Tim.  J,  73-.     Hch.  j,  6.     ^  i  Cor.  3,  ly.     'Isaiah  2,  2.     Aficha,  4, 

I.  Zac/i.  8,  J.  *  /  Pet.  2.  g.  \  Isaiah.  5,  i.  &-'  2/,  2.  \  Song.  4 
12.  Isa.  J/,  J.  4i  Isa.  i<p,  2j.  "  Micha.  5,  2.  Mat.  j.  2.  loJi.  j,  j. 
*  Song.  J.  2.  I  Psal.  43.  g.  \  i  Cor.  12.  27.  Ephes.  1.  2j.  4t  Gil. 
4,  2S.  Rd.  p.  4.  *  Psalm.  14J.  14.  2  Thcs.  j.  16.  J  Isay.  46,  13. 
Zach.  14,  I/,  f  Isa.  60.  cli.  Ezcch.  4j.  cJi.  Zach.  4,  12.  *  Ezech.  48, 
3j.     Mat.  28,  20.     Isai.  62.  chap. 

And  surely  if  this  Church  be  considered  in  her  partes,  it  shal 
appeare  most  beautifull,  yea  most  wonderfull,  and  even  \  ravishing 
the  senses  to  conceive,  much  more  to  behold,  what  then  to  enioy 
so  blessed  a  communion.  For  behold,  her  \  King  and  Lord  is  the 
King  of  peace,  &  Lord  himself  of  all  glorie.  She  enioyeth  most 
holie  and  heavenlie  *  lawes,  most  faithfull  and  vigilant  ^  Pastours, 
most  syncere  &  pure  "Teachers,  most  careful  and  vpright  \  Gov- 
ernours,  most  diligent  and  trustie  f  Deacons,  most  loving  and 
sober  *  Releevers,  and  a  most  *  humble,  meek,  obedient,  faithfull, 
and  loving  people,  everie  \  stone  living  elect  and  precious,  everie 
stone  hath  his  beautie,  his  f  burden,  and  his  *  order.  All  bound  to 
\  edifie  one  another,  exhort,  reprove,  &  comfort  one  another  f  lov- 
ingly as  to  their  owne  members,  *  faithfully  as  in  the  eyes  of  God. 
;j;  Song.  6.  4.  9.     f  Isai.  62.  11.     loh.   12.  15.     Heb.  2.  7.  8.      "^  Mat. 

II,  30.  I  loh.  J,  3.  ^k  Eph.  4.  II.  Alt.  20.  ih.  "  Rd.  12  7.  X  I 
Cor.  12.  28.  Rom.  12.  8.  \Actcs.  6.  ch.  "^Rom.  12,  8.  ^  Mat.  5,  5. 
Ezec.  36.  38.  Isa.  do,  8.  Dcut.  18.  g-13.  X  i  Pet.  2,  3.  i  King.  7^ 
g.  Zac.  14,  21.  \  Gal.  6,  2.  *  z  Cor.  12  ch.  Rom.  12,  3.  c^c. 
X  Hcb.  10.  24.     \  lev.  ip,  17.     I  Thes.  4,  g.     *  Col.  3,  23.     i  loh. 

3.  20. 

No  X  Office  here  is  ambitiously  affected,  no  f  law  wrongfully 
wrested  or  *  wilfully  neglected,  no  i^trueth  hid  or  perverted, 
"everie  one  here  hath  fredome  and  power  (not  disturbing  the 
peaceable  order  of  the  Church)  to  vtter  his  complaintes  and 
griefes,  &  freely  to  reprove  the  transgression  and  errours  of  any 
without  exception  of  persons.     J  .2  G^;-.  .?,  77.     3  loh.  g.     \i   Tim. 

4,  2.  3.  <s^  J.  21.  &-■  6.  14.  Gal.  6,  12.  *  /  Cor.  3.  4*  ^^''-  ^3,  28. 
I  Tim.  3,  13.     "  I  Cor.  6.  &-'  14,  30.     Col.  4,  i~. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  35 

[3J  Here  is  no  *  intrusion  or  climing  vp  an  other  way  into 
the  sheepefolde,  then  l  by  the  holy  «S:  free  election  of  the  Lordes 
holie  and  free  people,  and  that  according  to  the  Lordes  ordi- 
nance, humbling  themselves  by  fasting  and  prayer  before  the 
Lord,  craving  the  direction  of  his  holy  Spirit,  for  the  triall  and 
approving  of  giftes,  (S:c.  |  loh  lo,  i.    \  Actcs.  i,  2j.  Csr'  6,  j.  a^  14.  2j. 

Thus  they  orderly  proceed  to  ordination  by  fasting  and 
prayer,  in  which  *  action  the  Apostles  vsed  laying  on  of  handes. 
Thus  hath  everie  one  of  the  people  interest  in  the  election  and 
ordination  of  their  officers,  as  also  in  the  administration  of  their 
offices,  vpon  ;j;  transgression,  offence,  abuse,  «S:c.  having  an  especiall 
care    vnto    the    inviolable   order  of    the    Church,  as  is  aforesaid. 

*  I  Tim.   4.    14.   &   5.    22.     I  Luk.    //,  J.  -Ro/n.  16,  ij.     Col.  4,  ij. 

Likewise  in  this  Church  they  have  holy  f  lawes,  as  limits  ts: 
bondes,  which,  it  is  lawfull  at  no  hand  to  transgresse.  They  have 
lawes  to  direct  them  in  the  choise  of  everie  officer,  what  kind  of 
men  the  Lord  w'ill  have.  Their  Pastour  must  be  apt  to  *  teach, 
no  yong  Scholer,  \  able  to  divide  the  worde  -aright,  f  holding  fast 
that  faithful  word,  according  to  doctrine,  that  he  may  be  able  also 
to  exhort,  rebuke,  improve,  w'ith  wholesome  doctrine,  &  to  con- 
vince them  that  say  against  it  :  He  must  be  *  a  man  that  loveth 
goodnes  :  he  must  be  wise,  righteous,  holy,  temperate  :  he  must 
be  of  life  vnreproveable,  as  Gods  Steward  :  hee  must  be  generally 
well  reported  of,  <!i:  one  that  ruleth  his  ow'ne  houshold  vnder  obed- 
ience with  al  honestie  :  he  must  be  modest,  humble,  meek,  gentle, 
&  loving  :  hee  must  be  a  man  of  great  \  patience,  compassion, 
labour  and  diligence  :  hee  must  alwaies  be  carefull  and  watchfull 
over  the  flock  whereof  the  Lord  hath  made  him  overseer,  with  al 
willingnes  &  chearefulnes,  not  holding  his  office  in  respect  of 
persons,  but  doing  his  duetie  to  everie  soule,  as  he  will  aunswer 
before    the    chief    Shepheard,    &c.     f  Mat.    5.    19.     i    Tim.   i.   18. 

*  Deut.  2)2>-  ^°-  Mai.  2.  7.  i  Tim.  j,  /.  6^v.  \2  Tim.  2,  75. 
f  Tit.  7,  g.  2  Tim.  4,  2.  *  Tif.  I,  7,  c?.  X  Ninii.  12,  j.  7.  Isay.  JO, 
4.  J.  6.  Icre  J,  /j .  Ezcc.  34,  18.  Act.  20  cli.  i  Pet.  j,  /,  2,  j,  4. 
I  Tim.  5,  21. 

Their  Doctor  or  Teacher  must  be  a  man  apt  to  teach,  able  to 
diuide  the  word  of  God  aright,  and  to  diliver  sound  and  whole- 
som  doctrine  from  the  same,  still  building  vpon  that  sound 
groundwork,  he  must  be  mightie  in  the  Scriptures,  able  to  con- 
vince the  gainsayers,  &  carefull  to  deliver  his  doctrine  pure, 
sound  &  plaine,  not  with  curiositie   or 'affectation,  but   so  that  it 


36  THE   CONFESSION   OF    I  5  89 

may  edifie  the  most  simple,  approving  it  to  every  mans  con- 
science: he  must  be  of  life  vnreproveable,  one  that  can  [4]  governe 
his  owne  houshold,  he  must  be  of  manners  sober,  temperate, 
modest,  gentle  and  loving,  iScc.  /  Tim.  j.  cJiap.  Titus,  i.  ch.  2 
Tim.  2,  ij.     I  Cor.  i.  17.  &  2,  4. 

Their  Elders  must  be  of  wisedome  and  iudgement  endued 
with  the  Spirit  of  God,  able  to  discerne  between  cause  &  cause, 
between  plea  &  plea,  &:  accordingly  to  prevent  &  redres  evilles, 
alwayes  vigilant  &:  intending  to  see  the  statutes,  ordinances,  and 
lawes  of  God  kept  in  the  Church,  and  that  not  onelie  by  the  peo- 
ple in  obedience,  but  to  see  the  Officers  do  their  dueties.  These 
men  must  bee  of  life  likewise  vnreproveable,  governing  their  owne 
families  orderly,  they  must  be  also  of  maners  sober,  gentle, 
modest,  loving,  temperate,  &:c.  Numb.  11.  24,  25.  2  CJiro.  ig.  8. 
Actcs.  75.  cli.     I  Tim.  J.  &=  5.  c/iaj^. 

Their  Deacons  must  be  men  of  honest  report,  having  the 
mysterie  of  the  faith  in  a  pure  conscience,  endued  with  the  holy 
Ghost  :  they  must  be  grave,  temperate,  not  given  to  excesse,  nor 
to  filthie  lucre.     Actes.  6,  3.     i  Tim.  j,  8.  p. 

Their  Relievers  or  Widowes  must  be  women  of  60.  yeares  of 
age  at  the  least,  for  avoyding  of  inconveniences  :  they  must  be 
well  reported  of  for  good  works,  such  as  have  nourished  their 
children,  such  as  have  bin  harberous  to  straungers  :  diliger  &  ser- 
viceable to  the  Saints,  copassionate  &  helpful  to  them  in  adversi- 
tie,  given  to  everie  good  worke,  continuing  in  supplications  and 
prayers  night  and  day.     i  Tim.  5.  p.  10. 

These  Officers  muste  first  be  duely  proved,  then  if  they  be 
found  blameles,  administer,  &:c.     i  Tim.  j  10. 

Nowe  as  the  persons,  giftes,  conditions,  manners,  life,  and 
proofe  of  these  officers,  is  set  downe  by  the  holie  Ghost  :  So  are 
their  offices  limited,  severed,  and  divers  :  i  Cor.  12.  12.  18.  28. 

The  Pastours  office  is,  to  feed  the  sheep  of  Christ  in  green 
and  wholesome  pastures  of  his  word,  and  lead  them  to  the  still 
waters,  even  to  the  pure  fountaine  and  river  of  life.  Hee  must 
guyde  and  keep  those  sheep  by  that  heauenly  sheephook  &  pas- 
torall  staffe  of  the  word,  thereby  drawing  them  to  him,  thereby 
looking  into  their  soules,  even  into  their  most  secret  thoughtes  : 
Thereby  discerning  their  diseases,  and  thereby  curing  them  :  ap- 
plying to  every  disease  a  fit  and  couenient  medicine,  &  according 
to  the  qualitie  &  danger  of  the  disease,  give  warning  to  the 
Church,    that    they    may    orderly   proceed    to    excommunication. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  37 

Further,  he  must,  by  this  his  sheepehook  watch  over  and  defend 
his  flock  from  rauenous  beastes  and  the  Wolfe,  and  take  the  litle 
foxes.  &c.  Fsa.  2j.  Lev.  10,  10,  ii.  A'ti.  iS.  i.  Ezck.  44.  2j.  i> 
jj,  c?'  J4.  loh.  21.  /J.  Act.  20.  28.  I  Pet.  5.  I. -4.  Zac/i.  11.  7. 
Rev.  22.  2.  Liik.  12.  42.  2  Cor.  JO.  4.  J.  Heb.  4,  12.  loh.  10,  //, 
J2.     Song.  2.  /J. 

[5J  The  Doctours  office  is  ah'eadie  sett  downe  in  his  descrip- 
tion :  His  speciall  care  must  bee.  to  build  vpon  the  onel)-  true 
groundwork,  golde,  silver,  and  pretious  stones,  that  his  work  may 
endure  the  triall  of  the  fire,  and  by  the  light  of  the  same  fire,  re- 
veale  the  Tymber,  Hay,  and  Stubble  of  false  Teachers  :  hee  must 
take  diligent  heed  to  keep  the  Church  from  errours.  And  further 
hee  must  deliver  his  doctrine  so  plavnlie  simplie,  and  purelie,  that 
the  church  may  increase  with  the  increasing  of  God,  &  growe  vp 
vnto  him  which  is  the  head,  Christ  lesus.  /  Cor.  3  11.  12.  Levit. 
10.  10.  Ezeeh.  jj  i.  2,  i>r.  a;/(/  44.  24  Mai.  2,6  i  Cor.  j,  //. 
/  Cor.  I  ij.  I  Tim.  4,  16.  cp^  6.  20.  Ephe  2,  20  He!'.  6,  i.  i 
Pet  2,  2. 

The  office  of  the  Auncientes  is  expressed  in  their  descrip- 
tion :  Their  especiall  care '  must  bee,  to  see  the  ordinaunces  of 
(iod  truely  taught  and  and  practized,  aswel  by  the  officers  in  dooing 
their  duetie  vprightlie,  as  to  see  that  the  people  obey  willinglie 
and  readily.  It  is  their  duetie  to  see  the  Congregation  holily  and 
quietly  ordered,  and  no  way  disturbed,  by  the  contentious  and  dis- 
obedient froward  and  obstinate  :  not  taking  away  the  libertie  of 
the  least,  but  vpholding  the  right  of  all,  wiselie  iudging  of  times 
and  circumstances.  They  must  bee  readie  assistauntes  to  the 
Pastour  and  Teachers,  helping  to  beare  their  burden,  but  not  in- 
truding into  their  office.  Num.  11.  16.  Deut.  i.  13  &:  16.  18.  2 
Chro.  ig,  8  Exo  jp,  42.  i  Tim.  j,  /j.  2  Tim.  /,  ij.  i  Cor.  11, 
16.  and  14  jj.  Gal.  2,  4.  5,  14  Col  4,  16,  17.  Act.  20.  i  Pet.  5, 
I.     Rom.  12,  8. 

The  Deacons  office  is,  faithfully  to  gather  &  collect  by  the 
ordinance  of  the  Church,  the  goods  and  benevolence  of  the  faith- 
full,  and  by  the  same  direction,  diligentlie  and  trustilie  to  dis- 
tribute them  according  to  the  necessitie  of  the  Saincts.  Further 
they  must  enquire  &  consider  of  the  proportion  of  the  wantes 
both  of  the  Officers  and  other  poore,  and  accordinglie  relate  vnto 
the  Church,  that  provision  may  be  made.     Actes  6.     Rom  12,  8. 

The  Relievers  «Sc  Widowes  office  is,  to  minister  to  the  sicke, 
lame,  wearie,  &  diseased,  such  helpefuU  comforts  as  they  need, 


38  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 589 

by  watching,  tending  and  helping  them  :  Further,  they  must  shew 
good  example  to  the  yonger  Women,  in  sober,  modest,  cS;  godly 
conversation,  avoyding  idlenes,  vaine  talke,  &  light  behaviour. 
Rom.  12,  8.     I  Tim.  5,  ^.  &-'c. 

These  Officers,  though  they  be  divers  and  severall,  yet  are 
they  not  severed,  least  there  should  be  a  division  in  the  body,  but 
they  are  as  members  of  the  bodie,  having  the  same  case  [care]  one 
of  another,  ioyntlie  doing  their  severall  dueties  to  the  service  of  the 
Sainctes,  and  to  the  edification  of  the  Bodie  of  Christ,  till  wee  all 
meet  together  in  the  perfect  measure  of  the  fulnes  of  Christ,  by 
whom  all  the  bodie  being  in  the  nieane  whyle  thus  coupled  and 
knit  togither  by  everie  ioynt  for  the  [6]  furniture  thereof,  accord- 
ing to  the  effectuall  power  which  is  in  the  measure  of  everie  part, 
Teceiveth  increase  of  the  bodie,  vnto  the  edifying  of  it  self  in  love  : 
neither  can  any  of  these  Offices  be  wanting,  without  grievous 
lamenes,  &:  apparant  deformitie  of  the  bodie,  yea  violent  injurie 
to  the  Head  Christ  lesus.  Luk.  g.  46.  47.  48.  loh.  13.  12.-17.  i 
Cor.  12,  12.  25.  28.     Ephcs  4,  II,  12,  I  J.  16. 

Thus  this  holie  armie  of  saintes,  is  marshalled  here  in  earth 
by  these  Officers,  vnder  the  conduct  of  their  glorious  Emperour 
CHRIST,  that  victorious  Michaell.  Thus  it  marcheth  in  this 
most  heavenlie  order,  &  gratious  araye,  against  all  Enimies  both 
bodilie  and  ghostlie  :  peaceable  in  it  self  as  Jerusalem,  terrible  to 
the  enemy  as  an  Armie  with  baners,  triumphing  over  their  tyran- 
nic with  patience,  their  crueltie  with  mekenes,  and  over  Death  it 
self  with  dying.  Thus  through  the  blood  of  that  spotles  Lambe, 
and  that  Word  of  their  testimonie,  they  are  more  then  Con- 
querours,  brusing  the  head  of  the  Serpent :  yea  through  the 
power  of  his  Word,  they  have  power  to  cast  down  Sathan  like 
lightning :  to  tread  vpon  Serpents  aud  Scorpions  :  to  cast  downe 
strong  holds,  and  everie  thing  that  exalteth  it  self  against  GoD. 
The  gates  of  Hell  and  all  the  Principalities  and  powers  of  the 
world,  shall  not  prevayle  against  it.  Rom.  12.  ch.  i  Cor.  12. 
Rev.  14.  I.  2.  Song.  6.  3.  Rev.  12.  11.  Luk.  10,  18,  ip.  2  Cor. 
10.  s-     Mat.  16,  18.     Ro.  8,  38,  3Q. 

Further,  he  hath  given  them  the  keyes  of  the  Kingdome  of 
Heaven,  that  whatsoever  they  bynd  in  earth  by  his  word,  shalbe 
bound  in  heaven :  and  whatsoever  they  loose  on  earth,  shalbe 
loosed  in  heaven.     Mat.  16,  ip.     loJin.  20,  23.     Mat.  18,  18. 

Now  this  power  which  Christ  hath  given  vnto  his  Church,  and 
to  every  member  of  his  Church,  to  keep  it  in  order,  hee  hath  not 


TEXT   OF   THE    CONFESSION  39 

left  it  to  their  discretions  and  lustes  to  be  vsed  or  neglected  as 
they  will,  but  in  his  last  Will  and  Testament,  he  hath  sett  downe 
both  an  order  of  proceeding,  and  an  end  to  which  it  is  vsed.  Mat. 
16.  16.  19  (S:  18.  15.  16.  17,  18.  i>  28.  20.  Dent.  12,  31.  J2.  Rev. 
22,  18.  I  p. 

If  the  fault  be  private,  holy  and  loving  admonition  &  reproof 
is  to  be  vsed,  with  an  inward  desire  &  earnest  care  to  winne  their 
brother:  But  if  hee  wil  not  heare,  yet  to  take  two  or  three  other 
brethren  with  him,  whom  he  knoweth  most  meet  for  that  purpose, 
that  by  the  mouth  of  two  or  three  witnesses,  ever}'  word  may  be 
confirmed  :  And  if  he  refuse  to  heare  them,  then  to  declare  the 
matter  to  the  Church,  which  ought  severelie  and  sharpelie  to  repre- 
hend, gravelie  to  admonish,  and  lovingHe  to  perswade  the  partie 
offending :  shewing  him  the  heynousnes  of  his  offence,  (S:  the 
daunger  of  his  obstinacie,  &  the  fearefull  judgements  of  the  Lord. 
Lev.  19.  17.  18.     Mat.  18.  15.     Deut.  jp,  75.     Mat,  18,  j6. 

[7]  All  this  notwithstanding  the  Church  is  not  to  hold  him  as 
an  enimie,  but  to  admonish  him  and  praye  for  him  as  a  Brother, 
prooving  if  at  any  time  the  Lord  will  give  him  repentaunce.  For^ 
this  power  is  not  given  them  to  the  destruction  of  any,  but  to  the 
edification  of  all.     2  Thcs.  j,  75.     2  Cor.  10,  8.  and  ij,  10.^ 

If  this  prevaile  not  to  draw  him  to  repentance,  then  are  they 
in  the  Name  aud  power  of  the  Lord  lESVS  with  the  whole  Con- 
gregation, reverently  in  prayer  to  proceed  to  excommunication, 
that  is  vnto  the  casting  him  out  of  their  congregation  &:  fellow- 
ship, covenaunt  &:  protectio  of  the  Lord,  for  his  disobedience  &  ob- 
stinacie, &  committing  him  to  Sathan  for  the  destructio  of  the 
flesh,  that  the  Spirit  may  be  saved  in  the  day  of  the  Lord  lesus,  if 
such  bee  his  good  wil  and  pleasure.     Mat.  18.  77.     7  Cor  j  11. 

Further,  they  are  to  warne  the  whole  Congregation  and  all 
other  faithfull,  to  hold  him  as  a  Heathen  and  Publicane,  t^'  to  ab- 
steine  themselves  from  his  societie,  as  not  to  eat  or  drink  with 
him,  &:c.  vnles  it  bee  such  as  of  necessitie  must  needes,  as  his 
Wife,  his  Children,  and  Familie  :  yet  these  (if  they  be  members  of 
the  Church)  are  not  to  joyne  to  him  in  any  spirituall  exercise. 
Mat.  18.  17.     I  Cor.  5.  1 1. 

If  the  offence  bee  publike,  the  partie  is  publiquely  to  bee  re- 
proved, and   admonished  :  if  hee   then   repent   not,  to  proceed  to 


>  The  difference  between  the  first  and  second  editions  of  this  creed  lies  in  the  position  of  this 
paragraph.  In  the  first  edition  it  was  placed  "after  the  e.xcommunication,"  i.  c,  apparently  after 
the  paragraph  beginning,  "  Further,  they  are  to  warne."  (See  note  to  page  28  as  to  the  alleged 
reasons  for  this  change.) 


40  THE   CONFESSION   OF    I  5  89 

excommunication,  as  aforesaid,  i  Tim.  5.  20.  Gal.  2.  14.  los.  7. 
19.     2  Cor.  7.  9. 

The  repentance  of  the  partie  must  .bee  proportionable  to  the 
offence,  viz.  If  the  offence  bee  publique,  publique  :  If  private,  pri- 
vate :  humbled,  submissive,  sorrowfull,  vnfained,  giving  glorie  to 
the  Lord.  Lev.  ip,  ly.  18.  Pro.  10,  12.  Roiii.  12.,  ig.  &  ij,  10. 
and  14.  I. 

There  must  great  care  bee  had  of  admonitions,  that  they  bee 
not  captious  or  curious  finding  fault  when  none  is  ;  neyther  yet  in 
bitternes  or  reproch  :  for  that  were  to  destroye  and  not  to  save 
our  brother:  but  they  must  bee  carefullie  done,  with  prayer  going 
before,  they  must  dee  seazoned  with  trueth,  grauitie,  love  &  peace. 
Mat.  18.  15.  &  26.  8.  Gal.  6.  i.  2.  2  Tim.  2.  24.  Mark,  p,  jo. 
P/Zu-s.  4,  2p.     lam.  J-,  75,  ip,  20. 

Moreover  in  this  Church  is  an  especiall  care  had  by  every 
member  thereof,  of  offences  :  The  Strong  ought  not  to  offend  the 
Weak,  nor  the  weake  to  iudge  the  stronge  :  but  all  graces  here 
are  given  to  the  service  and  edification  of  each  other  in  love  and 
long  suffering.  Luke.  ly,  j.  Fro.  10,  12.  Rom.  14,  ij,  ip.  Gal. 
6,  2. 

In  this  Church  is  the  Truth  purelie  taught,  and  surelie  kept : 
heer  is  the  Covenaunt,  the  Sacramentes,  and  promisses,  the 
graces,  the  glorie,  the  presence,  the  worship  of  God,  &c.  Gen. 
17.  ch.  Lev.  26.  II.  12.  Lsa.  44.  j.  Gal.  4,  28  d^  6,  id.  Lsaj',  do, 
IJ.     Deaf.  4,  12.  IJ.     Lsay,  j6,  7.     /  Tim.  j,  ij.     Lsay.  J2.  8. 

[S]  Into  this  Temple  entreth  no  vncleane  thing,  neither  what- 
soever worketh  abhominatios  or  lyes,  but  they  which  are  write  in 
the  Lambes  Book  of  life.  Lsay.  J2.  i.  Ezek.  44  p.  Lsay.  jj.  8. 
Zae/i.  14.  21.     Rev.  21,  2y. 

But  without  this  CHVRCH  shalbe  dogs  and  Enchaunters,  &: 
Whoremongers,  &  Murderers,  and  Idolatours,  and  whosover  loveth 
&  maketh  lyes.     Rom.  2.  p.     Rev.  22.  ij. 

I  589. 


I 


Ill 

THE    SECOND    CONFESSION    OF    THE    LONDON- 
AMSTERDAM    CHURCH,    1596 

Editions  and  Reprints 

I.  A  Trvc  Confession,  etc'  1596.  No  place  of  publication  given,  but  almost 
certainly  printed  at  Amsterdam. 

II.  Confessio  Fidci  Anglorvm  Qvorvndam  in  Bclgia  Exvlantivin  :  Vna  cum 
PriTfntione  ad  Lector  em  :  Qiiam  ab  omnibus  legi  et  animadverti  cupimtis,  etc., 
1598.  Probably  printed  at  Amsterdam.  A  Latin  translation  of  I.  with  a  new  pre- 
face and  some  slight  modification  of  a  few  articles. 

III.  The  Confession  of  faith  of  certayne  English  people  living  in  exile  in  the 
Lo'v  Coitntreys,  etc.,  1598.     Apparently  an  English  edition  of  II. 

IV.  A  Dutch  translation,  before  1600.- 

\^  Printed  also  in  English  in  Certayne  Letters,^  translated  into  English,  etc.; 
1602. 

VI.  In  English  also  in  Johnson  and  Ainsworth's,  Apologie  or  Defence  of  svch 
Trve  Christians  as  are  commonly  {but  vnitistly)  called  Brovvnists  :  etc.,  1604.  pp. 
4-29.     (Reprint  of  III.). 

VII.  In  Latin,  Confessio  Fidei  Anglorum  quorundam  in  Inferiori  Germania 
exnlantium,  etc.,  1607.  16°  pp.  ii,  56. 

VIII.  In  English,  same  title  as  No.  III.,  with  the  addition  of  the  Points  of 
Difference  from  the  Church  of  England,  given  in  the  next  chapter,  1607. 

IX.  In  Dutch,  in  a  translation  of  No.  VI.,  1614. 

X.  In  Dutch,  in  a  new  translation  of  No.  VI.,  Amsterdam,  1670. 
Literature 

Hanbury,  Historical  Memorials,  I:  91-98,  with  extracts  from  the  preface  and 
articles;  Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  2d  ed.,  Boston  [1867],  III:  223- 
226;  De.xter,  Cong,  as  j-tvw,  pp.  270,  271,  278-282,  299-301,  316;  Fletcher,  His- 
tory    .     .     .     of  Independency,  2d  ed.,  London,  1862,  II:  215-222. 

THE  organization  of  the  London  Church,  perfected  in  Septem- 
ber, 1593,  by  the  choice  of  Francis  Johnson^  as  pastor  and 
John  Greenwood  as  teacher,  was  followed  by  Greenwood's  speedy 


1  Full  title  in  connection  with  the  reprint  at  the  close  of  this  chapter. 

2  Mentioned  by  Francis  Johnson  in  An  Answer  to  Maister  H.  Jacob,  etc.,  p.  134.  I  owe 
this  information  to  the  late  Dr.  Dexter. 

3  The  letters  here  referred  to  were  between  Francis  Junius,  professor  of  Theology  at  Leyden, 
and  the  exiled  church.     See  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  301. 

*  Francis  Johnson  was  born  in  1562,  of  a  Yorkshire  family  of  some  prominence.  While 
a  student  at  Cambridge,  and  still  more  as  a  fellow  of  Christ's  College  at  that  University,  he 
became  imbued  with  Presbyterian  principles.     His  public  proclamation  of  his  views  in  1589  was  fol- 

4  (41) 


42  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

arrest  and  execution.  Johnson  shared  also  in  his  colleague's  com- 
mittal and  detention,'  though  his  life  was  spared;  and  in  the  spring 
of  1593  no  less  than  fifty-six  of  the  little  flock  followed  their  pastor 
and  teacher  into  confinement  in  the  London  prisons.^  These  mul- 
tiplied arrests,  embracing  many  of  humble  position  and  little  polit- 
ical importance,  led  the  government  to  look  upon  emigration  as 
the  best  method  of  ridding  London  of  the  Separatists;  and  there- 
fore, though  Johnson  and  other  of  the  leaders  were  kept  in  prison, 
the  way  was  made  easy,  from  the  summer  of  1593  onward,  for  them 
to  slip  over  to  Holland.^  After  being  scattered  for  a  time,  it  would 
appear,  in  villages  in  the  neighborhood  of  Amsterdam,  the  bulk  of 
the  congregation  found  their  home  in  that  city  itself.  This  re- 
gathering  of  the  scattered  church  in  Amsterdam,  which  took  place 
as  early  as  1595,''  was  accompanied  or  followed  by  the  election^  of 


lowed  by  his  imprisonment.  After  considerable  influence  had  been  brought  to  bear  on  the  authori- 
ties by  his  friends,  he  was  allowed  to  leave  England,  and  became  pastor  of  the  Puritanically  inclined 
church  of  English  merchants  at  Middelburg  in  the  Dutch  province  of  Zeland.  It  was  while  here, 
in  1591,  that  Barrowe  and  Greenwood's  Plaine  Refutation  of  M.  Giffards  Booke,  etc.,  came  to 
his  knowledge,  as  it  was  passing  through  the  press  at  Dort.  Having  notified  the  English  ambassa- 
dor, Johnson  was  commissioned  to  destroy  the  forth-coming  edition.  This  he  did,  saving  two  of 
the  volumes  for  himself  and  a  friend.  But  in  reading  the  work  he  was  convinced  of  the  truth  of 
the  principles  it  set  forth.  He  therefore  gave  up  his  pleasant  position  at  Middelburg,  and  going  to 
Ixindon  sought  out  Barrowe  and  Greenwood  in  prison.  From  that  time  onward  he  was  associated 
with  the  fortunes  of  the  London  church.  Elected  its  pastor  in  1592,  he  was  imprisoned  in  London 
from  1593  to  1597,  and  was  then  released  on  condition  of  going  to  a  newly  projected  colony  in  the 
Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence.  The  loss  of  one  of  the  vessels  on  the  Nova  Scotian  coast  compelled  the  re- 
turn of  the  expedition  to  England.  Once  back  in  London  Johnson  contrived  to  escape  to  Holland 
in  the  autumn  of  1597.  The  London  church  was  thus  completely  transferred  to  Amsterdam.  John- 
son's pastorate  here  was  stormy.  In  1610  the  church  was  divided  between  him  and  Ainsworth,  in  a 
quarrel  in  which  Ainsworth  seems  to  have  been  in  the  right.  But  whatever  his  faults  may  have 
been,  he  was  a  man  of  sincerity,  earnestness,  and  ability.  He  died  in  January,  1618,  at  Amsterdam. 
His  controversial  works  were  numerous  and  vigorous.  Dexter,  Cong,  as  sect:,  Bibliog.  enumerates 
cine  titles.  Compare  for  Johnson's  biography  Brook,  Lilies  of  the  Puritans,  11:89-106.  Han- 
bury,  Memorials,  I,  Ch.  V,  and  following:  Dexter,  as  cited,  pp.  263,  264,  ■2'T2-i-]?>,  283-310;  Gordon 
\a  Dictionary  of  National  Biography,  XXX:  9-11.  The  account  of  his  conversion  is  given  by 
Gov.  William  Bradford  of  Plymouth,  in  a  Dialogue,  written  in  1648,  and  is  distinctly  stated  to  be 
based  on  Johnson's  own  statement.  Young,  Chronicles  of  the  Pilgrims,  pp.  424,  425.  Boston,  1844. 
A  few  facts  may  be  found  in  Neal,  History  of  the  Puritans,  Toulmin's  ed.  Bath,  1793,  I:  468; 
11:  43-49. 

'  Both  were  arrested  Dec.  5,  1592.     Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  266.  ^  //'id. 

3  //'id,  pp.  266-268.  Their  departure  was  expedited  by  a  law  passed  by  Parliament  in  1593, 
entitled  "An  Act  to  retain  the  Queen's  Majesty's  subjects  in  due  obedience,"  providing  that  any 
above  16  years  of  age  who  should  refuse  to  go  to  church  for  a  month,  or  attend  any  religious  con- 
venticle, should  be  imprisoned  without  bail  until  he  publicly  submit  and  conform.  If  he  refuse 
this,  on  conviction  he  is  to  "abjure  this  realm  of  England,  and  all  other  the  Queen's  dominions  for 
ever."  If  he  return  he  is  guilty  of  "  felony,  without  benefit  of  clergy."  /.  e.,  worthy  of  death.  35 
Eliz.,  I,  2,  3,  5.  T.  W.  Davids,  Antials  of  Evangelical  Nonconformity  in  the  County  of  Essex, 
London,  1863,  pp.  86,  87.  See  also  Neal,  History  of  the  Puritajzs,  1 :  465-467.  Perry,  History  of 
the  English  Church  (Student's  Series,  18S1),  p.  336. 

■1  //'/(/.,  p.  26S.  5  The  date  is  entirely  uncertain. 


J 


JOHNSON   AND   AINSWORTII  43 

Henry  Ainsworth'  to  the  vacant  post  of  teacher,  the  pastor,  Francis 
Johnson,  still  remaining  in  his  London  prison.  Conscious  once 
more  of  a  distinct,  though  divided,  corporate  existence,  and  domi- 
ciled in  a  foreign  city,  the  church  desired  to  define  its  doctrinal 
]K)sition,  lest  it  should  fall  under  the  charge  of  heresy;  and  to 
make  clear  its  views  on  polity,  lest  its  separation  from  the  English 
Establishment  should  seem  unjustifiable  schism  or  rebellion  against 
civil  authority.  With  this  two-fold  object  in  view,  therefore,  the 
London-Amsterdam  church  put  forth  a  new  creed  sometime  in 
1596. 

Though  some  consultation  was  probably  held  between  the  exiles 
at  Amsterdam  and  those  of  the  flock  who  were  still  in  confinement 
in  London,^  the  Preface  of  the  Confession  clearly  indicates  it  was 
chiefly  the  work  of  the  former.^  Who  of  the  church  were  instru- 
mental in  its  preparation  cannot  be  surely  affirmed,  but  the  conjec- 
ture is  natural  that  a  large  share  of  the  labor  fell  to  Ainsworth. 
Probably  the  Preface  was  not  entirely  from  his  hand.     Its  tone  is 


'  Henry  Ainsworth,  the  most  learned  of  the  founders  of  modern  Congregationalism  and  one 
of  its  saintliest  ministers,  was  born,  according  to  his  own  testimony,  in  1570  or  '71  ;  but  all  the  de- 
tails of  his  early  life  are  tantalizingly  obscure.  It  is  probable  that  he  never  enjoyed  a  university 
education,  but,  however  acquired,  his  learning  was  from  our  first  acquaintance  with  him  far  beyond 
that  which  was  usual  even  among  professedly  learned  men.  He  WTOte  a  Latin  style  of  considerable 
felicity,  while  his  knowledge  of  Hebrew,  quickened  and  increased  by  opportunities  for  intercourse 
with  Jews  which  Amsterdam  afforded,  was  such  that  Bradford  was  able  to  record  the  opinion  of 
competent  scholars  at  the  university  of  Leyden  that  "  he  had  not  his  better  for  the  Hebrew  tongue 
in  the  university,  nor  scarce  in  Europe."  Even  better  testimony  to  the  e.xtent  and  modernness  of 
his  knowledge  of  Hebrew  is  the  fact  that  his  A  nttotatious  on  the  Pentateuch  and  Psalms  are  held 
in  esteem  to  this  day  as  a  still  valuable  aid  to  the  study  of  the  Scriptures.  The  same  obscurity 
which  veils  Ainsworth's  early  life  and  education  hides  from  us  all  certain  knowledge  as  to  the  cir- 
cumstances which  led  to  his  adoption  of  Congregational  views  or  his  first  association  with  the 
Separatists.  His  abilities,  when  once  known,  would  readily  account  for  his  election  to  the  teacher- 
ship  of  the  exiled  church.  A  man  of  peace,  Ainsworth's  service  in  the  Amsterdam  Church  was 
vexed  by  the  strifes  which  rent  that  distracted  body,  and  which  finally,  in  1610,  led  to  a  separation 
between  him  and  Johnson.  He  remained  in  his  ministry  at  Amsterdam  till  his  death  in  1622  or 
1623,  an  event  which  Xeal  and  Brook  attributed  to  poison,  and  De.xter  in  his  Cong;,  as  seen,  suggests 
may  have  been  due  to  pulmonary  complaints.  The  true  cause  was,  however,  later  discovered  by 
Dr.  De.xter,  and  the  full  proofs  will  doubtless  soon  be  published.  I  may  perhaps  be  permitted  to 
say  that  the  disease  was  the  stone,  and  that  poison  had  no  share  in  Ainsworth's  death.  Ainsworth's 
works  were  very  numerous.  Some  23  are  enumerated  by  Dr.  De.xter  in  Cong:  as  seen,  p.  346,  and 
further  particulars  may  be  found  in  the  Dictionary  0/  Xat tonal  Biography,  1 :  192,  193. 

P'or  Ainsworth's  biography  see  Bradford,  Dialogue,  in  Young's  Chronicles  of  the  Pilgrims, 
pp.  448,  449.  Neal,  History  0/  the  Puritans,  Toulmin's  ed.,  II:  43-45.  Stuart  in  preface  to  re- 
print of  Tivo  Treatises,  i.  e.,  Ainsworth's  Communion  0/  Saincts  and  Arrow  against  Idolatry, 
Edinboro,  1789.  Brook,  Lives  0/  the  Puritans,  II:  299-303.  Hanbury,  Memorials,  I:  Chs.  V- 
XXIV  passim.  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  269,  270,  299-346.  W.  E.  A.  Axon  in  Diet.  National 
Biography,  I:  191-194. 

-  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  270.  '  See  Pre/ace,  opening  paragraph. 


44  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

one  of  sense  of  personal  wrong,  somewhat  in  contrast  to  the  intro- 
duction to  the  Latin  translation  which  is  almost  certainly  the  work 
of  his  pen.  But  whether  many  or  few  of  the  London-Amsterdam 
church  shared  in  its  preparation,  the  Confession  was  put  forth  as  the 
symbol  of  the  whole  body,  and  its  value  in  witnessing  to  their  doc- 
trine, polity,  and  attitude  toward  the  English  Establishment  from 
which  they  had  come  out  is  correspondingly  great. 

The  Preface  breathes  a  spirit  of  hostility  to  the  supporters  of 
the  National  Church  natural  in  men  who  had  suffered  so  much  at 
the  hands  of  the  prelates.  But  it  is  a  hostility  based  clearly  on 
principle.  Whatever  added  touch  of  bitterness  the  arraignment 
may  have  derived  from  the  recollection  of  prisons  and  death,  the 
real  motive  of  its  composition  was  not  enmity  to  persons,  but  a  pro- 
found conviction  that  the  English  Church,  when  tried  by  the  Scrip- 
ture standards,  was  un-Christian.  As  such  it  was,  in  these  men's 
thinking,  a  positive  peril  to  the  soul  to  be  of  its  membership.  And 
if  the  premises  of  their  argument  are  correct,  if  their  principle, 
which  was  but  a  logical  application  of  the  fundamental  thought  of 
the  Reformation,  is  right  in  asserting  that  nothing  should  be  prac- 
ticed in  the  government  of  the  church  or  the  worship  of  God  which 
is  not  fully  patterned  in  the  Bible,  the  cogency  of  the  arguments  of 
the  Preface  is  undeniable.  With  far  more  readableness  of  style 
than  is  usual  in  controversial  writings  of  the  period,  the  writers  of 
this  introduction  put  questions  to  their  opponents  regarding  the 
divine  warrant  of  the  liturgy,  rites,  ministry,  and  membership  of 
the  Church  of  England  which  must  have  been  exceedingly  difficult 
for  the  Puritan  wing  of  the  Establishment  to  answer.  And  at  the 
same  time  they  gave  biographical  facts  regarding  the  martyrs  of 
their  own  body  which  are  not  elsewhere  to  be  found.  No  other 
single  document  of  so  brief  compass  so  well  sets  forth  the  suffer- 
ings and  the  motives  of  these  much-tried  Separatists. 

The  creed  itself  consists  of  forty-five  articles,  treating  some  of 
doctrine,  others  of  polity.  \i\  matters  of  belief  they  are  in  substan- 
tial harmony  with  the  positions  of  the  Calvinistic  churches  of  the 
Continent,  and  with  the  Puritan  wing  of  the  Church  of  England.. 


NATURE   UF   THE   COXFESSIOX  45 

On  these  heads  their  creed  is  but  little  more  than  a  re-affirmatioii 
of  the  current  beliefs  of  a  vast  majority  of  the  Protestant  churches 
at  that  day.  In  polity  it  lays  down  the  propositions  already  pre- 
sented in  the  Trvc  Description,  but  with  much  greater  fullness  of 
elaboration.  It  is  no  longer  an  ideal  sketch.  Questions  of  actual 
administration  have  evidently  led  to  minuter  definition  in  regard  to 
certain  problems.  An  instance  or  two  may  illustrate.  In  the  Trvc 
Description  no  provision  was  made  for  the  reception  of  the  members 
of  one  churth  into  another,  or  for  the  relations  of  church  to 
church.  Now  it  is  hard  to  see,  perhaps,  how  these  questions  could 
have  become  very  pressing  to  the  London-Amsterdam  church. 
But  the  divided  condition  of  that  body,  if  nothing  else,  had  caused 
them  to  be  thought  of  ;  and  therefore  the  creed  of  1596  enunciates 
the  truly  Congregational,  because  truly  Scriptural,  doctrine  that 
members  coming  from  one  church  to  another  should  bring  certifi- 
cates of  their  character  and  standing.^  It  declares  further  that 
while  the  individual  independence  of  each  church  is  to  be  recog- 
nized, churches  owe  counsel  and  help  to  one  another  in  matters  of 
more  than  usual  concern.-  The  Trvc  Description,  in  similar  man- 
ner, made  no  provision  for  the  removal  of  such  church  officers  as 
might  prove  unworthy  of  their  trust,  save  what  might  be  implied  in 
the  very  general  remarks  as  to  the  right  of  a  church  to  excommuni- 
cate any  offending  member.  The  creed  before  us,  on  the  contrary, 
declares  that  a  church  may  depose  a  minister  unfit  for  his  post,  and 
counsels  procedure  to  excommunication  only  when  continued  evil 
conduct  demands  a  further  step.^  These  examples,  which  the  stu- 
dent can  readily  multiply  for  himself,  show  plainly  that  the  creed  of 
1596  is  not  merely  greater  in  verbal  extent  than  that  of  15S9,  but 
marks  a  growth  in  appreciation  and  application  of  Congregational 
principles.  ^ 

The  document  is  more  than  a  general  statement  of  faith  and 
polity.  It  is  evidently  the  answer  of  its  writers  also  to  the  ques- 
tion which  must  frequently  have  been  put  to  them  as  to  the 
method  of  procedure  by  which  they  would  reform  the  Church  of 
England  if  they  could  have  their  way.     The  thirty-second  to  the 

'  Article  37.  2  Article  38.  '  Article  23. 


46  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

thirty-ninth  articles  are  a  program  for  action.  They  would  have 
all  who  are  convinced  of  the  truth  of  the  charges  here  formulated 
against  the  Establishment  lay  down  any  offices  which  they  may 
have  held  within  it  and  at  once  renounce  its  communion.  No  one, 
holding  the  rightful  view  of  what  Christ  intended  a  church  to  be, 
is  to  contribute  longer  to  the  financial  support  of  the  legal  church, 
even  though  such  a  refusal  make  him  obnoxious  to  the  law.^  These 
religious  men,  who  have  come  forth  from  the  Church  of  England, 
are  next  to  join  in  local  congregations,  united  by  a  covenant  and  a 
common  confession  of  faith. ^  In  these  congregations  any  who  are 
able,  and  have  the  approval  of  their  associates,  are  to  teach  and 
preach  ;  but  the  sacraments  are  not  to  be  administered  until  some 
of  these  preachers,  whose  qualifications  have  appeared  eminent, 
are  chosen  and  ordained  to  the  divinely  appointed  offices  of  pastor, 
teacher,  elder,  and  deacon,  or  as  many  of  these  offices  as  the 
church  finds  men  fitted  to  fill.  Then  baptism  is  to  be  administered 
to  the  children  and  wards  of  the  members  of  the  local  church,  and 
its  members  of  mature  years  are  to  unite  in  the  Lord's  supper.^ 
But  baptism  does  not  admit  its  recipient  to  the  full  privileges  of 
the  church.  While  all  who  will  are  to  be  urged  to  be  present  at 
the  preaching  of  God's  word,  and  while  the  duty  of  professing 
faith  in  Christ  is  to  be  pressed  upon  them,  the  church  is  to  be  in- 
creased only  by  the  admission  of  those  who  make  a  profession  of 
personal  belief  and  who  publicly  unite  in  the  covenant  fellowship.'' 
Thus  the  Christian  people  of  any  given  town  in  England,  so  the 
makers  of  this  creed  thought,  might  be  released  from  the  Estab- 
lishment and  organized  into  true  churches.  But  what  should  be 
done  with  the  Establishment  and  with  those  who  refused  to  come 
out  cf  it  ?  The  answer  is  characteristic  of  the  times,  and  illustra- 
tive of  the  partial  vision  to  which  these  men  had  attained.  The 
old  system  was  to  be  uprooted  and  the  buildings  and  revenues 
which  it  enjoyed  were  to  be  confiscated  by  civil  authority.  The 
magistrate  was  to  enforce  upon  the  reluctant  the  commands  of 
God.^     There   is  something  ludicrous  as  well  as  pathetic  in   the 


I  Article  32.  -  Article  33.  ^  Article  34,  35. 

■*  Article  37.  ^  Article  39. 


now    TIIKV    WOULD    REFORM    THE    CHURCH  47 

readiness  with  which  these  exiles  of  Anisterdain  aiul  prisoners  oi 
London  call  upon  the  power  from  which  they  had  themselves  suf- 
fered so  much  ti)  enforce  on  others  that  which  they  had  had  to 
bear.  But  in  this  matter  the  nineteenth  century  is  apt  to  judge 
the  sixteenth  hardly.  Such  a  thought  as  that  of  honest  difference 
of  opinion  in  regard  to  the  main,  and  even  the  minor  truths  of 
Christianity  was  foreign  to  the  great  mass  of  men  for  more  than 
two  centuries  after  the  Reformation.  Dissent  from  their  own  con- 
victions men  believed  to'be  due  to  defect  in  moral  character,  such 
failure  to  see  the  truth  could  be  owing  only  to  willfulness,  or  to  a 
divine  withholding  of  light  which  was  in  itself  high  evidence  of  the 
sinfulness  of  those  thus  deprived.  There  could  be  but  one  right 
view.  These  Separatists  held  it.  They  had  called  on  their  oppo- 
nents to  show  its  falsity,  and  to  their  thinking  their  opponents 
had  failed.  And  since  it  is  the  duty  of  a  magistrate,  they  thought, 
to  support  the  truth,  the  magistrates  of  England  should  overthrow 
an  Establishment,  which  civil  government  had  so  often  altered 
during  the  last  fifty  years,  and  which  the  Separatists  believed  they 
had  demonstrated  to  be  utterly  unworth}-.  We  may  well  regret 
that  these  early  Congregationalists  and  the  founders  of  New  Eng- 
land also  did  not  share  the  truer  view  of  Browne,'  and  of  the  Ana- 
baptists regarding  the  limits  of  civil  authority,  but  there  is  little 
reason  for  surprise  that  they  did  not. 

This  is,  after  all,  a  minor  matter.  England  was  not  to  be  re- 
formed on  the  lines  here  laid  down.  But  as  a  statement  of  Con- 
gregationalism this  creed  marks  a  decided  gain  in  clearness.  As 
a  setting  forth  of  the  essential  and  permanent  features  of  the 
system  in  definite  form,  it  was  fitted  to  stand  for  many  years,  as 
the  frequent  reprints  show  it  did  stand,  as  an  adequate  and  valued 
exposition  of  Congregational  doctrine  and  polity. 

As  has  already  been  seen,  the  creed,  as  it  was  issued  in  1596, 
was  preceded  by  an  introduction  breathing  the  spirit  of  strong  in- 
dignation against  the  oppressors  from  whose  hands  the  church 
had  so  recently  escaped,  and  who  still  held  some  of  the  brethren 
in  bondage.     The  very  warmth  of  this  feeling,  justifiable  as  it  was, 

'  See  ante,  p.  12. 


48  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

rendered  this  preface  less  likely  to  be  favorably  received  by  those 
unfamiliar  with  English  ecclesiastical  affairs.  And  as  the  church 
at  last  gathered  together  all  its  scattered  membership  at  Amster- 
dam (1597),  and  came  to  be  more  and  more  a  recognized,  though 
humble,  element  in  the  religious  life  of  the  city,  the  desire  to 
set  themselves  right  in  the  eyes  of  Protestant  Christendom,  which 
had  prompted  the  original  draft  of  the  creed,  impelled  the  breth- 
ren to  mak^  a  translation  of  their  profession  into  the  only  tongue 
which  learned  Europe  could  understand,  and  preface  it  with  an 
account  of  the  government  and  rites  of  the  legally  established 
church  of  their  native  country  designed  to  make  clear  to  the  non- 
English  reader  the  reasons  for  their  separation.  The  new  preface 
is  milder  in  tone  than  the  old,  though  it  retains  passages  from  the 
latter.  But  it  cannot  be  said  to  have  gained  in  strength  or 
cogency.  The  translation  of  the  old  creed,  thus  introduced,  ap- 
peared late  in  1598;^  and  was,  doubtless,  the  work  of  the 
scholarly  Henry  Ainsworth.  Its  typographical  dress  indicated  the 
improved  outward  estate  of  the  exiled  company,  as  surely  as  the 
mute  witness  of  the  wretched  printing  and  the  scanty  font  of  type 
revealed  the  dire  poverty  of  these  exiles  for  what  they  believed  to 
be  the  truth  of  God  at  their  first  coming  into  Holland. 


1  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  299.     The  following  articles  were  slightly  revised,  not  for  content, 
but  for  clearness  of  statement,  in  the  edition  of  1598  ;  xvii,  xxviii,  xxx,  xliii,  and  xliv. 


I 


Tni:  CoMF.ssioN  (IF   1596 

A  TRVE  CONFESSI-  |  ON  OF  THE  FAITH,  AND 
HViM-  I  BLE  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  OE  THE  ALi:-  |  geance, 
which  wee  hir  Maiesties  Subjects,  falsely  called  Brownists,  | 
doo  hould  towards  God,  and  yeild  to  hir  Majestie  and  all  other 
that  I  are  ouer  vs  in  the  Lord.  Set  down  in  Articles  or  Positions, 
for  the  I  better  &  more  easie  vnderstanding  of  those  that  shall 
read  yt :  And  |  published  for  the  cleerin^i^  of  our  selues  from  those 
vnchristian  slan-  |  ders  of  heresie,  schisme,  pryde,  obstinacie,dis- 
loyaltie,  |  sedicion,  &:c.  which  by  our  adversaries  are  |  in  all 
places  given  out  against  vs.  |  liiee  bclceue  thcrforc  haitc  wc  spoken. 
2  Cor.  4,  13.  I  But,  I  ivJio  hath  bcleeiied  our  report,  and  vuto  lohorn 
is  the  I  arnie  of  the  Lord  reiiealed ?     Isai.  53,  i.  |       ^.l.V>.  XCVL 

[ii     Blank.] 

[iii].     To   all  that  desire   to  feare,   to  loue,  &   to  obey  our  Lord   lesus  Christ, 
grace,  wisdom  and  vnderstanding. 

'T'hou  '  canst  not  lightly  bee  ignorant  (gentle  Reader)  what  eviils  and  afflictions,  for 
our  profession  and  faith  towards  God  wee  haue  susteined  at  the  hands  of  our 
owne  Nation  :  How  bytterly  wee  haue  been,  an  yet  are,  accused,  reproched  and  per- 
secuted wich  [with]  such  mortall  hatred,  as  yf  wee  were  the  most  notorious  obstinate 
hereticks,  and  disloyall  subiects  to  our  gracious  Queen  Elizabeth,  that  are  this  day  to 
bee  found  in  all  the  Land.  And  therfore,  besides  the  dayly  ignominie  wee  susteine 
at  the  hands  of  the  Preachers  and  Prophets  of  our  tyme,  who  have  given  theyr 
tongnes  the  reins  to  speacke  despightfully  of  vs,  wee  haue  been  further  miserably  en- 
treated by  the  Prelats  and  cheef  of  the  Clergie :  some  of  vs  cast  into  most  vile  and 
noysome  prisons  and  dungeons,*"  ^  laden  with  yrons,  and  there,  withont  all  pitie,  de- 
teyned  manie  yeeres,  no  man  remembring  our  affliction :  vntill  our  God  released 
some  of  vs  out  of  theyr  cruell  bands  by  death,  as  the  Cities  of  Londo,  Norwich, 
Glocester,  Bury,^  and  manye  other  places  of  the  land  can  testifie.  Yet  heere  the 
malice  of  Satan  stayed  not  it  self,  but  raysed  vp  against  vs  a  more  greevous  persecu- 
tion, even  vnto  the  violent  death  of  some,f°  and  lamentable  exile  of  vs  all ;  causing 
heavie  decrees  to  come  forth  against  vs,  that  wee  should  forsweare  our  own  Contrey 


■""  They  shut  op  our  lyves  in  the  Dnngeon,  they  cast  a  stone  upon   vs.     Lam. 

3-  53- 

f "  Anno  1593.     April,  ic* 

•  From  this  point  onward  the  preface  is  in  Old  English  black  letter.     I  have  tried  to  give  it 
literatitn.  even  to  the  misprints. 

*  This  and  the  subsequent  notes  are  on  the  margin  of  the  pages,  often  with  no  mark  indicat- 
ing their  exact  reference  to  the  text.    When  not  so  indicated  I  have  added  a  o. 

3  Bury  St.  Edmunds. 

^  The  martvrdom  of  Barrowe  and  Greenwood  is  probably  meant,  though  that  was  Apl.  6. 

(49) 


50  THE    CONFESSION    OF    1 596 

&  depart,  or  els  bee  slayne  therein.  This  liave  onr  adversaries  vsed,  as  their  last 
and  best  argTiment  against  vs,  (when  all  other  fayled)  followinge  the  stepps  of  theyr 
bloody  Predecessors,  the  popish  Priests  and  Prelats.  Now  therfore  that  the  true 
cause  of  this  their  hostilitie  &  hard  vsage  of  vs  may  appeere  vnto  all  men  ;  wee  haue 
at  lengh  amyds  our  manie  troubles,  through  Gods  favour,  obteyned  to  publish  vnto 
the  view  of  the  world,  a  confession  of  our  fayth  &  hope  in  Christ,  and  loyal  harts, 

.  towards  our  Prince,  the  rather  to  stop  the  mouths  of  impious  and  vnreasonable  men, 
who  have  not  ceased  some  of  them,  both  openly  in  their  Sermons  &  printed  pamph- 
lets, notoriously  to  accuse  and  defame  vs,  as  alsoo  by  all  indirect  meanes  secretly  to 
suggest  the  malice  of  their   pwne  evill  harts,  therby  invegling  our   soveraign  Prince 

.and  Rulers  against  vs  :  that  when  the  true  state  of  the  controversie  between  them 
and  vs  shalbe  manifested,  the  christian  (or  but  indiffirent)  Reader  may  iuge  whether 
our  adversaries  have  not  followed  the  way  of  Cain  and  a  Balaam,  to  kill  and  curse  vs 
tiods  sernants  without  cause.  For  if  in  this  onr  Confession  appeere  no  matter 
worthie  such  mortal  inmitie  and  persecution,  then  we  protest  (good  Reader)  that,  to 
our  knowledge,  they  neyther  haue  cause  nor  colour  of  cause  so  to  entreat  vs,  the 
mayne  and  entire  difference  betwixt  their  Synagogs  and  vs,  beeing  in  these  Articles 
fully  lS:  wholly  comprised. 

An  other  motive  inducing  vs  to  the  publication  of  this  our  testimonie,  is,  the 
rufuU  estate  of  our  poore  Contrymen,  who  remayne  yet  fast  locked  in  Egipt,  that 
hous  of  servants,  in  slavish  subjection  to  strange  LLs '  &  lawes,  enforced  to  beare 
the  burdens  and  iutollerable  yoke  of  their  popish  canons  &  decrees,  beeing  subiect 
every  day  they  rise  to  *  38  antichristian  ecclesiasticall  offices,  and  manie  moe  Romish 
statutes  and  traditions,  almost  without  number  :  besides  their  high  trangression  dayly 
in  their  vaine  will-worship  of  God,  by  reading  over  a  few  prescribed  prayers  and 
collects,  which  they  haue  translated  verbatim  out  of  the  Mass-book,  and  which  are 
yet  taynted  with  manie  popish  hereticall  errors  and  superstions,  instead  of  true 
spirituall  invocation  vpon  the  name  of  the  Lord. 

[iv  ]  These  and  manie  other  greevous  enormities  are  amongst  them,  not  suffred 
only  but  with  a  high  hand  mainteyned,  and  Gods  servants,  which  by  the  powre  of  his 
Word  and  Spirit  witnes  against  &  condemne  such  abhominations,  are  both  they  &  their 
testimonie,  reiected,  persecuted  &  plasphemed.  What  s.  wofull  plight  then  are  such 
people  in,  how  great  is  their  iniquitie,  how  fearfuU  indgments  doo  abide  them:  wee 
have  therfore,  for  their  sakes,  manifested  this  onr  Confession  of  and  vowed  obedience 
vnto  that  Fayth  which  was  once  gyven  vnto  the  a  Saincts,  wherby  they  may  bee 
drawne  (God  shewing  mercy  vnto  them)  vnto  the  same  faith  and  obedience  with  vs, 
that  they  perish  not  in  their  sinnes.  For  how  could  wee  behould  so  manie  soules  of 
our  dear  Contrymen  to  dye  before  our  eyes  &  wee  hould  our  peace  :  And  wheras 
they  have  been  heertofore  greatly  abused  by  their  tyme-serving  Priests,  beeing  give  to 
vnderstad  that  wee  were  a  dangerous  people,  holding  manie  errors,  renting  our  selves 


1  Lords  ? 

*Arch  Bbs.  L.[ord]  Bbs.  Suff'ragans,  Chancellors,  Deanes,  Arch-Deacos, 
Commissaries,  Officials,  Doctors,  Proctors,  Registers,  scribes,  Purcevants,  Sum- 
moners,  Subdeans,  chaplaines,  Prebedaries,  Cannons,  Peti-Canons,  Gospellers, 
pistellers  Chanters,  Sub-chanters,  Vergiers,  organ-players,  Queristers,  Parsons, 
Vicars,  Curats,  Stipendaries,  Vagrant-Preachers,  Priests,  Deacons  or  half  Priests, 
Churchwardens,  Sideme  Collectors,  Clerks,  Sextins. 

rtGen.  4.     Num.  12.      .      r?  Jude  3. 


PREFACE    TO    THE    CONFESSION  5 1 

from  the  tue  Church,  because  of  some  infirmities  in  men,  some  falts  in  their  worship, 
Ministerie,  Church-gouvernment,  etc.  that  wee  were  Donatists,  Anabaptists,  ISrown- 
ists,  Schismaticks,  &c.  these  few  leaves  (wee  trust)  shal  now  cleer  vs  of  these  and  such 
like  criminations,  and  satisfie  anie  godly  hart,  yea  every  reasonable  man,  that  will  but 
with  an  indifferent  ear  heare  our  cause.  For  wee  have  always  protested,  and  doo  by 
these  presents  testifie  vnto  all  me,  that  wee  neyther  our  selves  doo,  neyther  accompt 
it  lawfull  for  others  to  seprrate  fro  anie  true  church  of  Crist,  for  infirmities  falts  or 
errors  whatsoever  except  their  iniquitie  bee  come  to  such  an  heith,  that  for  obstinatie 
they  cease  to  be  a  true  visible  Church,  aud  bee  refused  and  forsaken  of  God.  And  for 
this  their  renowmed  Church  of  England,  wee^  have  both  by  word  and  writing, 
proved  it  vnto  them  to  bee  false  and  counterfeit,  deceyving  hir  children  with  vaine 
titles  of  the  word.  Sacraments,  Ministerie,  &c.  having  indeed  none  of  these  in  the  or- 
dinance and  powre  of  Christ  emongst  them.  They  have  been  shewed,  that  the  people- 
in  Their  Parish-assemblies,  neyther  were  nor  are  meet  stones  for  Gods  house,  meet 
members  for  Christs  glorious  body,  vntill  they  b  bee  begotten  by  the  seed  of  his  word 
vnto  fayth,  and  renewed  by  repentance.  Their  generall  irreligious  profannes  ignor- 
ance, Atheisme  and  Machevelisme  on  the  one  side,  &  publique  Idolitrie,  vsuall  blas- 
phemie,  swearing,  lying,  kylling,  stealing,  whoring,  and  all  manef  of  imptetie  [im- 
piety] on  the  other  side.r  vtterly  disableth  them  from  beeing  Citizens  in  the  new 
Hierusalem,  sonnes  of  God  &  heires  with  Christ  and  his  Saints,  vntill  they  become 
new  creatures.  Their  slavish  bondage  vnto  the  antichristiaen  tyrannous  Prelats, 
whom  they  celibrate  and  honour  as  their  Lords  &  reverend  Fathers  spiritnall,  accept- 
ing their  popish  Canons  and  Iniunctions  for  laws  in  their  Church,  their  marcked 
Priests,  Preachers,  Parsons,  and  Vicars  &c.  in  lewe  of  Christs  true  Pastors  and 
Teachers,  running  to  their  Courts  and  Consistories  at  every  summons  ^;c.  doo  mani- 
fest (/  whose  servants  they  are,  &  to  whom  they  yeeld  their  obedience.  Their  learned 
Ministerie  even  from  the  highest  Arch-prelat  to  the  lowest  Vicare  &  half-Priest,  thath 
[hath]  been,  by  the  powre  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  cast  down  into  the  smoky  fornace 
of  that  pyt  of  bottomles  diepth  c  from  whence  they  arose,  revealed  by  the  light  of  his 
word,  to  bee  strange,  false,  popish  i^:  antichristian,  the  very  same,  and  no  other,  then 
were  hatched  and  advanced  in  their  Metropolitane  Sinagoge  of  Rome,  from  whence 
they  have  feched  the  very  patterne  nnd  mould  of  their  Church,  Ministerie,  Service  & 
Regiment,  even  the  very  expresse  Character  and  image  of  that  first  wild  beast  of 
Italy,  as  all  in  whom  anie  spark  of  true  light  is,  may  easely  discerne.  With  these  and 
manie  other  lyke  weightie  arguments  have  wee  pleaded  against  that  our  whorish 
mother,  hir  Priests  and  Prelats,  which  as  a  heavie  mylstone  presseth  hir  down  to  hell: 
for  the  vj'alls  of  Gods  wrathfull  iudgments  are  powred  vpon  them,  which  maketh 


rt  Conferences  betwixt  certeine  Preachers  and  prysoners  Marc,  1590'.  Discoverey 
of  the  false  Church  1590.''^     Refutation  of  Mr.  Giffard  prynted.     1591.^ 

I)  I  Peter  i,  23.     John  3,  3. 

c  Revel.  21,  27.     2  Cor.  5,  17.     Ezech.  44,  9.     Act  S,  37. 

d  Rom.  6,  16.     Mat.  6,  24.     Reue.  13,  16,  &  14,  9.    10.    &c. 

e  See  Revel.  9,  3.  with  their  owne  annotatation,  vpon  that  place.  2  King.  16, 
10.     II.     &c.     Reu.  13,  14.     Hos.  2,  2.     Rev.  16,  10,  11. 

'  [Barrowe  &  Greenwood],  A  collection  of  certaine  Letters  and  Cou/erenccs,  lately  passed 
Bet-vixt  Certaine  Preachers^  df  Two  Prisoners  in  the  Fleet  [Dort],  1590. 

-  Barrowe,  A  Brief  Discotierie  of  the  false  Church,  etc.  [Dort],  1590. 

^  Barrowe  &  Greenwood,  A  Plaine  Rcfvtation  of  M.  Giffards  Bool-e,  intituled,  A  short 
treatise  gainst  the  Donatistes  of  England,  etc.  [Dort],  1591. 


52  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

them  so  to  [v]  storme  rage  and  curse,  gnawing  their  tongues  for  sorrow  &  payne 
of  these  wounds,  and  not  yet  finding  grace  to  repent  of  and  turne  from  their  sinnes. 
For  when  wee  have  proclamed  this  our  testimonie  against  them,  how  have  they  be- 
haved themselves,  but  as  savage  beasts  renting  and  tearing  vs  with  their  teeth,  never 
daring  to  come  vnto  the  triall  of  the  word  of  God,  eyther  by  free  wryting  or  confer- 
ence, but  greedily  hunting  after  Christs  poore  lambes,  and  so  manie  as  they  could  get 
into  their  pawes,  misvsing  their  bodyes  with  all  exqvisite  tyrannie  in  long  and  lament- 
able emprisonment,  bedsies  [besides]  despight  and  reproches  without  mesure.  So  that 
through  their  barbarous  crlieltie*  24.  soules  have  perished  in  their  prisons,  with  in  the 
Cittie  of  London  only,  (besides  other  places  of  the  Land)  &  that  of  late  yeeres. 
Manie  also  have  they,  by  their  immanitie,  caused  to  blaspheme  and  forsake  the  faith 
of  our  glorious  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  many  mo  they  terrific  and  keep  from  the  same. 
For  all  this,  yet  were  not  these  savage  men  satisfied,  though  blood  in  abonndance  ran 
out  of  their  wyde  mouths,  but  they  procured  certeine  of  vs  (after  manie  yeeres 
emprisonment)  to  be  indighted,  arrayned,  condemned  and  hanged  as  felons  (how 
uniustly,  thou  Lord  iust  and  true  knowest)  Henry  Barrow,  John  Greenwood,  and 
John  Penry,  whose  perticular  examinations  araignments  and  maner  of  execution, 
with  the  circumstances  about  them,  if  thou  didst  truly  vnderstand  (gentle  Reader)  it 
would  make  thy  hart  to  bleed,  considering  their  vnchristian  and  vnnaturall  vsage. 
About  the  same  tyme  they  executed  also  one  William  Denis,'  at  Thetford  in  North- 
folke,  and  long  before  they  kylled  two  men,  at  Bury  in  Suffolk,  Coppyn  and  Elias,- 
for  the  like  testimonie.  Others  they  deteyne  in  their  prysons  to  this  day,  who  looke 
for  the  like  measure  at  their  mercelesse  hands,  yf  God  in  mercye  release  them  not  be- 
fore. Our  God  (wee  trust)  will  one  day  rayse  vp  an  other  John  Fox,  to  gather  and 
compile  the  Actes  and  Monuments  of  his  later  Martyrs,  for  the  vew  of  posteritie,  tho 
yet  they  seem  to  bee  buryed  in  oblivion,  and  sleep  in  the  dust.  Then  will  this  last 
infernall  Clergie  alsoo  appeere  in  their  proper  colours,  and  be  found  nothing  inferi- 
our  to  their  bloody  predecessours  in  poysoned  malice  and  and  tyrannie,  but  rather  even 
to  exceed  them,  in  regard  of  the  tyme.  Alas  for  our  poore  Countreye,  that  it  should  bee 
so  againe  defiled  with  the  blood  of  the  seints,  which  cryeth  lowde  from  vnder  the 
Altar,  and  speaketh  no  beter  things  for  it,  then  did  the  blood  oi  a  Habel.     Needs 


*  In  Newgate  Mr.  Crane  a  man  about  60  yeers  of  age  Richard  Jacson,  Thomas 
Stevens,  William  Howton,  Thomas  Drewet,  John  Gwalter,  Roger  Ryppon,  Robert 
Awoburne,  Scipio  Bellot,  Robert  Bowie,  John  Barnes  beeing  sic  vnto  death,  was 
caryed  forth  &  departed  this  lyfe  shortly  after.  Mothor  Maner  of  60.  yeers,  Mother 
Roe  of  60.  yeers,  Anna  Tailour,  Judeth  Myller,  Margaret  Farrer  beeing  sick  vnto 
death  was  caried  forth,  and  ended  hir  lyfe  within  a  day  or  two  after.  John  Purdy  in 
Brydwel,  Mr.  Denford  in  the  Gate-house  about  60.  yeers  of  age.  Father  Debnham  in 
the  white-lyon  about  70.  yeers,  George  Bryty  in  Counter  wood  street,  Henry  Thomso 
in  the  clynk,  John  Chandler  in  the  Count.  Poultry,  beeing  sick  vuto  death  was 
carryed  forth  &  dyed  within  few  dayes.  Waltar  Lane  in  the  Fleet,  Thomas  Hewet  in 
Counter  Woodstreet.^ 

17  Gen.  4,  10. 

'  Of  him  nothing  is  known  beyond  the  fact  above  given.  Even  Bradford  knew  no  details. 
Young,  Chroizicles  of  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  Boston,  1844,  p.  427. 

2  John  Coppin  and  Elias  Thacker  of  Bury  St.  Edmunds.  Executed  for  circulating  Browne's 
books  on  June  4  and  5,  1583.     See  Dexter,  Co7ig.  as  seen,  p.  208-210. 

^  Unfortunately  we  know  nothing  of  most  of  these  men  and  women.  Regarding  Roger  Rip- 
pon  see  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  207. 


PREFACE    TO    THE    CONFESSION  53 

must  the  righteons  Lord  reserue  a  fearfull  vengeance  for  such  a  Land,  and  make  it  an 
example  to  all  Natons,  yf  speedely  they  purge  not  thewselnes  [themselves]  by  notable 
repentance.  But  oh  how  far  are  they  from  this,  which  harden  their  harts  against  vs, 
as  did  the  Egiptians,  and  cease  not  to  add  vnto  their  formor  iniquities,  still  pursuing 
vs  with  their  accustomed  hatred,  who  seeke  the  welfare  of  their  soules,  &  Offer  them 
the  things  which  concerne  their  peace,  which  they  refuse.  Thy  peace  o  England 
hath  wrought  thy  woe,  and  thy  long  prosperitie,  thy  ruin,  thou  hast  been  fat,  thou 
has  waxed  grosse,  thy  hart  is  covered,  thow  hast  forsaken  the  God  that  made  thee,  and 
despised  the  rock  of  thy  salvation,  thy  sinnes  have  reached  vp  to  Heaven,  &  God 
hath  remembred  thine  iniquities  to  g>'ue  vnto  thee  according  to  thy  worcks.  Behold, 
the  tempest  of  the  Lord  is  gon  forth  with  wrath,  the  wirlewinde  that  hangeth  over 
shall  light  vpon  the  heads  of  the  wicked,  the  indignation  of  the  Lords  wrath  shall  not 
returne  vntill  hee  hane  [have]  doon,  and  vntil  hee  hane  performed  the  intents  of  his 
hart :  In  the  later  dayes  thow  shalt  vnderstand  it.*  Our  God  shew  mercy  to  them 
tliat  are  his  in  thee,  and  hastely  draw  them  out  ot  the  fire,  that  they  perish  not  in  thy 
sinnes.  And  most  of  all  wee  are  sorie  for  our  dread  sovereigne  Queen,  whom  wee 
haue  alwayes  loued,  reverenced  and  obeyed  in  the  Lord,  that  shee  should  so  bee 
drawn  by  the  subtle  suggestion  of  the  Prelats  to  smyte  hir  faithfullest  subjects 
ha[vi]ving  hir  finger  so  deep  in  the  blood  of  Gods  children,  wherby  shee  hath  not 
only  defiled  hir  precious  soule  in  the  eyes  of  hir  God,  but  also  brought  an  evill 
name  vpon  hir  meek  and  peaceable  Government  heere  on  Earth,  in  all  Nations  rownd 
aboul  hir  who  doo  with  greef  behold  that  Land  to  persecute  and  waste  true  Christians 
now,  which  was  erewhiles  an  harbour  and  refuge  for  Christians  persecuted  in  other 
places.  But  as  wee  are  verily  perswaded  that  hir  Matis.  clemencie  hath  been  much 
abused  by  the  wretched  vnconcionable  false  reports  and  instigations  of  the  Priests,  so 
will  wee  not  cease  (though  wee  bee  exiled  hir  Dominions)  with  fervent  harts  to  desier 
hir  Highnesse  prosperitie,  &  pray  that  hir  sinnes  may  bee  forgiven  hir,  lamenting  that 
Gods  benefits,  and  great  delyverances,  should  so  soone  of  hir  bee  forgotten,  &  so  ill 
requited,  by  this  hard  vsage  of  his  poore  servants  for  his  sake.  And  if  shee  proceed 
in  this  course,  alas  how  shall  shee  ever  bee  able  to  behold  the  face  of  hir  God  with 
comfort ;  wherfore  our  soules  sTiall  weep  in  secret  for  hir,  and  wee  will  not  cease  to 
pray  the  Lord  to  shew  hir  mercy,  and  open  hir  eyes  before  shee  dye.  And  lykewyse 
for  those  honorable  Peeres  hir  grave  Councellors,  who  also  have  consented  to  this  our 
hard  measure,  although  our  innocencie  hath  been  sufficietly  manifested  vnto  the  co- 
scieces  of  some  of  the  cheefest  of  the,  our  humble  request  is,  that  they  in  the  feare  of 
God  may  weigh  their  proceedings  against  vs,  &  rcmeber  [remember]  their  accompt 
that  they  shall  shortly  make  vnto  the  Judge  of  heave  and  earth, f°  where  Christ  will 
reckon  vnto  them  al  the  tribulations  of  his  poore  despised  members  on  earth,  as  if  they 
had  been  inflicted  vpon  his  own  glorious  person,  and  will  render  reward  accordingly. 
The  Lord  giue  them  true  wisdome,  that  they  may  learne,  at  last,  to  kisse  the  Soone  be- 
fore hee  bee  angry,  and  they  prrish  in  the  way.t°  As  for  the  Priests  and  Preachers  of 
the  land,  they,  of  all  other  men,  haue  bewrayed  their  notable  hj'pocrisie,  that  stand- 
ing erewhile  against  the  English  Romish  hierachie,  and  their  popish  abhominations, 
haue  now  so  redely  submytted  themselves  to  the  Beast,  and  are  not  only  content  to  ' 
yeeld  their  canonicall  obedience  vnto  him,  and  receiue  his  mark,  but  in  most  hostile 


*  Och  that  they  were  wise,  then  would  they  vnderstand  this,  they  would  consider 
their  later  end.      Deut.  32  29. 

\°  Mat.  10.  40.  41.  &  25.  44.  45.  t°  I'sal.  2.  10. 


54  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

maner  oppose  and  set  themselues  against  vs,  not  ceasing  to  add  vnto  our  aflictions, 
scorning  and  reviling  vs,  and  alienating  the  mynds  of  manie  simple  harted  people, 
whoe  are  (wee  doubt  not)  inclinable  enough  vnto  the  truth,  were  it  not  that  these  their 
lying  Prophets  did  strengthen  their  hands,  that  they  may  not  returne  from  their 
wicked  wayes,  by  promising  them  lyfe  and  peace,  where  no  peace  is.  These  haue 
long  busied  themselues  in  seeking  out  new  shifts  and  cavills  to  turne  away  the  truth, 
which  presseth  them  so  sore,  and  haue  at  last  been  dryven  to  palpaple  &  grosse  ab- 
surdities, seeking  to  dawbe  vp  that  ruinous  autichristan  muddy  wall,  which  tliem- 
;/_lves  did  once  craftily  vndermine.  And  heerin  wee  report  vs  to  the  learned 
discourses  of  Dr.  Robert  Some,'  and  Mr.  Giffard,"  who  haue  so  referced  their  wryt- 
ings  with  reproches,  slanderous  vntruths,  and  false  collections  on  the  one  side,  and 
manifest  digressions,  shiftings  &  turnings  from  the  state  of  the  question  in  hand,  on 
the  other  side,  as  wee  think  the  lyke  presidents  can  hardly  be  shewed  in  anie  wrytings 
of  controversie  in  these  times,  and  specially  Mr.  Giflards  last  answere"*  which  (it 
seemeth)  hee  did  in  haste  :  whcrin  besides  his  boyes-play,  in  skipping  over  many 
whol  leaves  of  his  adversaries  booke,  (leaving  the  both  vnanswered  iX:  vntouched)  hee 
hath  so  wisely  caryed  himself  in  those  things  which  hee  professeth  to  answere,  as  a 
man  afrayd  once  to  come  neere  the  battel  and  mayne  controversie  in  hand,  running 
out  into  vaine  and  frutlesse  excursories,  never  approving  by  the  word  of  God  the 
places  and  offices  of  his  Lords  the  Prelats,  with  their  retinue,  Courts,  Canons,  &c. 
neither  the  publick  worship,  ministerie,  or  people  of  this  their  Church  of  England. 
No  hee  knev/  well  his  adversaries  were  fast  locked  &  wached  in  pry[vii]son  from  wryt- 
ing  anie  more,  and  their  books  intercepted,  so  that  few  men  could  come  to  the  view 
of  them  :  Hee  might  therfore  deale  as  hee  lysted  himself  for  his  own  best  advantage, 
and  beare  the  people  in  hand  that  hee  had  confuted  the  Brownists  and  Donatists,  for 
the  prynt  was  as  free  for  him,  as  the  close  pryson  for  them.  But  God  (wee  trust)  will 
give  meanes  one  day,  that  some  things,  which  as  yet  are  hid,  shall  come  to  light.  In 
the  meane  tyme,  thow  for  thy  satisfying  (Christian  Reader)  examin  the  mans  wryt- 
ings, and  see  how  hee  hath  answered  vnto  these  criminations,  or  purged  his  Church  of 
them.  Look  what  scriptures  hee  hath  brought  for  defence  of  his  spirituall  Lords, 
their  places  and  procedings,  their  Courts,  Cannons,  Dignities,'  &c.  what  warrant 
in  Christs  Testament  hee  hath  found  for  his  service-booke  and  all  the  abhominable  rites 
therin,  for  his  Angelles,  Saincts  and  Lady-days,  popish  Fastes,  Lent,  Embers  and 
Eves  :  How  hee  hath  approved  their  English  missall  Prayers,  Letanie,  Collects  aud 
Trentalls,  their  marvng,  burying,  churching  of  women,  wretched  abuse  of  both  Sac- 

^  R.  Some,  A  Godly  Treatise  containing  and  deciding  certaitie  questions,  inooucd  of  late 
in  Lo7tdon  and  other  places  touching  the  Ministerie,  Sacraments,  and  Church.  London,  158S  ; 
Ibid,  A  Defence  of  svch  points  in  R.  Somes  last  treatise  as  M.  Penry  hath  dealt  against,  etc., 
London,  1588;  Ibid,  A  Godly  Treatise  wherein  are  examijzed  ^r'  co7ifvted  many  execrable  fan- 
cies giuen  out  Sif  holden,  partly  by  Hen.  Barrowe  and  lohn  Grccnivood :  partly  by  other  of 
the  Anabaptisticall  order,  etc.,  London,  1589. 

Some  was  rector  of  Girton  and  master  of  Peterhouse  Coll.,  Cambridge,  a  man  somewhat  in- 
clined to  Puritanism.     For  his  biography  see  Cooper  Athcnie  Ca7ttabj-igienses,  ii :  510-3. 

2  G.  Gifford,  A  Short  Treatise  against  the  Donatists  of  England,  ivhonie  we  call  Brown- 
ists, etc.,  London,  1590;  Ibid,  A  Plainc  Declaration  that  our  Brownists  be  full  Donatists,  etc., 
London,  1590;  Ibid,  A  short  Reply  vnto  the  last  printed  books  of  Henry  Barrow  and  lohn 
Grcefiwood,  etc.,  London,  1591. 

Gifford  was  a  prominent  and  learned  Puritan,  vicar  of  jMaldon,  Essex,  and  a  sufferer  for  the 
Puritan  cause.  See  Brook,  Diz'cs  of  the  Puritans,  London,  1S13,  ii  :  273-8  ;  Bradley  in  Diet.  A'a- 
Jional  Biog.,  xx\:  300. 

^  See  previous  note. 


PRKKACE   TO   THE   CONFESSION  55 

raments,  their  Romish  Gossipps,  hollowed  Font,  Crosse,  inchantcd  Collects,  their 
processions,  bishopping  of  children,  and  a  thowsand  such  like  trnmperies,  which  were 
all  blamed  vnto  him.  yea,  come  vnto  their  own  INIinisterie,  &  behold  from  whence 
hee  hath  fetched  the  genealogie  of  those  Anakims  and  horned  heads  of  the  Beaste. 
Archbbs,  Lordbbs,  Ueanes,  Arch-Deacons,  Chancellors,  &c.  or  of  their  Mr.  Parson, 
Vicar,  Curat,  and  the  rest  of  that  rable  :  How  hee  approveth  their  offices,  ellections, 
callings,  entrace,  administrations,  Bishopricks,  Deanries,  Prebends,  benefices,  <S;c.  by 
the  ordinance  of  our  Lord  Jesus  in  his  newe  Testament/  left  vnto  his  Church  to  the 
worlds  end. 

These  are  some  of  the  innumerable  abhominations,  wherwith  wee  charged  their 
Church,  which  they  must  eyther  justifie  by  Gods  word,  or  cleere  their  Church  of  them. 
Now  hee  that  findeth  not  these  things  approved  in  his  wrytings,  may  easely  perceiue 
how  hee  hath  uever  [never]  medled  with  the  mayne  coutroversie  between  vs.  Wher- 
fore  eyther  let  him  dischardge  his  Church  of  these  accusations,  or  els  must  wee  and 
all  Gods  children  still  by  the  powre  of  the  word  of  God  condenme  them,  and  send 
home  againe  these  Romish  wares  into  the  Land  of  Shinar*°  from  whence  they  came, 
and  the  Lord  that  condemneth  them  is  a  strong  God. 

On  the  other  side  wee  desire  the  that  they  wold  shew  vs  by  the  Scriptures  our 
errors  wherwith  they  chardge  vs,  &  for  which  they  thus  hate  vs,  what  they  reproue  in 
our  Doctrine  or  practise.  As  for  our  selves,  wee  protest  with  simple  harts  in  the 
presence  of  God,  and  his  holy  Angelles,  vnto  al  men,  that  wee  doo  not  wittingly  & 
willingly  mataine  anie  one  error  against  the  word  of  truth  (though  wee  doubt  not  but 
as  all  other  men  wee  are  liable  to  error,  which  our  God  wee  trust  will  in  mercy  for- 
giue  vnto  vs,)  but  hold  the  grounds  of  Christian  Religion  with  all  Gods  antient 
Churches  in  ludea,  Rome,  Corinth,  Ephesus,  Galatia,  Pontus,  Cappadocia,  Asia  and 
Bythinia,  and  with  all  faythfull  people  at  this  day  in  Germanie,  France,  Scotland,  the 
Lov\'-Contries,  Bohemia,  and  other  Christian  Churches  rownd  about  vs,  whose  confes- 
sions publishedf  °  wee  call  heere  to  wytnes  the  sinceritie  of  our  [fjaith,  and  our  agreement 
and  vnitie  with  them  in  the  points  of  greatest  moment  and  controversie  between  vs  and 
our  adversaries.  And  wheras  our  Preachers  were  wont  to  tell  vs,  that  their  Church 
holdeth  the  foundation  and  substantial!  grounds  of  Rilligion,  Faith  in  God  and  Justi- 
fication by  Christ  alone,  &c.  and  therfore,  notwithstanding  their  wants  and  corrup- 
tions, they  had  the  essence,  lyfe  and  beeing  of  a  true  people  of  God:  wee  trust  now 
they  will  let  vs  that  make  the  lyke  plea,  find  the  lyke  favour,  &  accompt  of  vs  as  a 
true  Congregation  of  Christ,  and  blaspheme  vs  no  longer  by  the  names  [viii]  of 
Brownists,  Donatists,  Anabaptists,  Schismaticks  &c.  for  will  they  slay  those  that 
Christ  gjweth  lyfe  vnto?  shall  profession  of  faith  saue  them,  and  shall  yt  not  vs  lyke- 
wise,  that  make  the  same  profession  ?  Or  yf  they  take  exception  at  ours,  let  them 
shew  what  one  truth  they  hold,  wherin  wee  agree  not  with  the,  or  what  good  thing 
they  have  in  practice,  that  wee  do  not  the  samew.  ee  [same.     We]  worship  the  true 


/Mat.  28.  20.     Ileb.  i.  2.     Eph.  4.  11  ;   12.  13.     Gal.  i.  g.  10. 

*°  Zach.  5.    II. 

f°  Harmanie  of  Confess.' 

1  The  collection  here  referred  to  is  the  Harmonia  Coiifcssiomtin  Fidci  Orthodoxaruvi,  et 
Re/or inatarutn  Eccii'siaruDt^  quae  in  prcecipiiis  qitibztsquc  Europce  RcgniSy  Nationibus,  it 
Proz'inciis^  sacrum  Evangi'lii  doctrinam  ptcre  J>roJitcntttr  :  .  .  .  Geneva,  158 1.  An  English 
translation  was  published  at  Cambridge  in  1586.  This  was  the  chief  general  epitome  of  the  doctrines 
of  the  Reformed  (Calvinistic)  Churches,  with  some  Lutheran  creeds  added.  See  Schaff,  Creeds  0/ 
Christendom,  New  York,  1S77,  I:  354. 


k 


56  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

God  ill  spirit  and  truth, *°  liaving  liis  word  truly  taught,  his  Sacraments  rightly  admin- 
istred  (at  such  tyme  as  our  God  vouchafeth  vs  the  meanes  for  administration  of  the 
at  all:)  That  ministerie  of  Pastors,  Teachers,  Elders,  Deacons,jS:CrAvhich-they  sora- 
tymes  stood  for,i  wee  (through  Gods  great  mercy)  obteyned  them  before  their  faces, 
which  they  yet  never  did.  That  government  of  Christ  by  his  own  lawes,  ordinances, 
&  holy  censures  (which  they  call  Discipline)  wee  faithfully  obey  and  execute:^  receiving 
into  our  societie  all  that  with  faith  and  repentance  come  vnto  vs  willingly  :/i  casting 
out  againe,  and  removing  by  the  powre  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  all  notorious  &  ob- 
stinate sinners,  hereticks,  schismaticks,  or  wicked  lyvers  whosoever,  without  respect 
of  persons.  Only  wee  reiect  the  abominable  Romish  reliques  which  they  yet  retein 
and  mainteine,  to  the  high  dishonour  of  God.  And  for  the  sinnes  wherwith  wee 
charge  them,  they  are  so  apparant,  as  even  our  forest  adversarie  somtymes  confessed 
and  complayned  of  them,  &  that  in  great  measure  openly,  muchmore  secretly  emongst 
themselves,  as  is  well  known.  But  let  vs  heare  themselves  speak,  as  they  have  pub- 
lished in  prynt  to  the  view  of  the  world.  Of  their  people,  the  members  of  their 
Church  they  gyve  this  commendation.* 

/The  greaeest  multitude,  by  many  partes  doo  not  vnderstand 
the  Lords  prayer,  the  ten  Commandements,  or  the  articles  of  the 
faith,  or  the  Doctrine  and  vse  of  the  Sacraments,  in  anie  competent 
measure.  There  bee  thouvvsands,  K'hich  bee  men  &  vvoemen 
grovvne,  which  if  a  man  aske  them  bofi'  [how]  they  shalbee  saued, 
they  cannot  tell.  As  for  vvickednesf°  in  pryde,  eu?'ie,  hatred,  and 
all  sinnes  that  can  bee  named  almost,  yt  doth  overflow:  &  yet  you 
are  not  ashmed  to  say,  are  they  not  C//ristians?  Concerning  their 
07i:'n  ministerie  and  government,  they  haue  \yke7Lnsek  complayned 
how  they  lack  both  a  rig//t  Ministerie  of  God,  and  a  rig//t  govern- 
ment of  //is  C/nirc//,  according  to  the  Sc//riptures.  More  perticu- 
larly/  T//at  t//at  prop//ane  iurisdiction  of  Lordly  Lord  Arc//,  bb'. 
Bb^  Arc//-Deacous,  C//ancellors,  Officials,  &c.  are  contrary  to  Gods 
goz'ernment,  and  vv//olly  7'nderpropt  by  t//e  Canon  and  popis//  law, 


*°  Thou  Lord  preparest  a  table  before  vs  in  sight  of  our  adversaries.     Psal.  23.  5. 

^^Act.  2.  41. 

/i  Mat.  iS.  S.  17,   I  Cor.  5.  4.  5,  Tit.  3.   10.   Rom.  16.   17. 

i  Dialogue  of  the  strife  of  their  Church,  Page.  99.' 

f°  Are  not  these  meet  stones  now  for  gods  hous?     r  Pet.  2.  5.  9.     Heb.  8.  11. 

/'  Admonition  to  the  Pari,  in  the  Preface,  defended  by  T.  C.'* 

/  Table  of  Articles  propounded  by  the  Divinitie  Reader  in  Cambridg.  T.  C.^ 

1  Reference  is  here  made  to  the  Puritan  wing  of  the  Church  of  England  which  desired  many 
of  these  reforms  but  refused  to  separate  from  the  Establishment.    So  also  in  the  succeeding  passaj:es. 

2  These  quotations  are  in  Roman,  mixed  with  Italics. 

^  A  Dialogue  concernitig  the  strife  of  our  churche  .  .  .  imth  a  briefc  decla7-ation  of 
some  such  monstrous  abuses,  as  oitr  Byshops  haue  not  bene  ashattied  to  foster.     London  ?  1584. 

■i  Cartwright  is  meant.  The  original  work  quoted  was,  I  suppose,  that  by  J.  Field  and  T 
Wilcox  of  London,  An  Admonition  to  Parliament.  London,  1571.  This  was  answered  by  Whit- 
gift  and  defended  by  Cartwright  in  a  series  of  pamphlets. 

■'  With  the  bibliographical  means  at  my  disposal  I  am  unable  fully  to  identify  the  work  of 
Cartwright  indicated. 


k 


TREFACE   TO   THE   CONFESSION  57 

and  7c'it//all  ioyned  7C'it/i  //ypocrisie,  vaineglorie,  lordlines  &  tyran- 
nie,  eue  for  t/zese  respects,  if  t//er  7£'ere  no  more,  are  to  bee  rtterly 
rooted  out  of  t/;e  C//urc/;,  except  possible  7i'ee  meane  by  reconcilia- 
tion to  maX'e  C//rist  and  antic//rist  friends.  Item;«  t/;at  t//at  ougly 
<S:  ylfauored  //yerarc/ne  or  C/mrc//-princelynes,  K/hich  instituted  at 
t//e  first  by  Antic//rists  dez'ise,  did  afterrcard  7'ilely  serue  t/?e  Pope 
of  Rome  to  accomplis//e  t//e  mysterie  of  iniquitie,  and  to  distroy 
t//e  C//urc/;  of  C/^rist,  and  dot/;  yet  still  at  t/ns  day  serue  /tim,  must 
bee  so  abolis/^ed  t//at  no  remnants,  ne  yet  anie  s/ieia  t/ieroi  re- 
mayne,  yf  so  bee  7i'ee  7<:'ill  [ix]  haue  C/^rist  to  reign  ouer  vs.  Item  n 
that  the  Lord  Gouerners  of  their  Church  bee  Peti-popes,  (be  Peti- 
Antic/zrists,  and  Bis//ops  of  t//e  Deuill. 

These'  Testimonies  have  wee  from  their  own  wrj-tings,'  and  manie  such  lyke. 
For  these  impieties  haue  wee  seperated  our  selues  from  those  cages  of  vncleane  byrds, 
following  the  o  counsell  of  the  Holy-Gost,  lest  wee  should  communicate  with  their 
sinnes,  and  bee  partakers  of  their  plagues.  With  what  equitie  now  can  these  Priests 
so  blaspheme  and  persecute  vs  for  reiecting  the  heavie  yoke  of  their  tyranous  Prelats, 
whom  they  themselues  call  antichristian  &  Bishops  of  the  Devill :  for  forsaking  their 
Priesthood,  which  they  haue  complayned  is  not  the  right  Ministerie.  With  what 
conscience  could  Mayster  Giffard  (of  all  other  men)/  so  vehemently  charge  vs  with 
intollerable  pryde,  presumption,  and  intrusion  into  Gods  iudgment  seate,  to  judg  and 
condemn  wholl  assembles  which  professe  the  Faith  of  Christ  sincerely  &c.  in  most 
savage  and  desperate  maner  to  rend  and  teare  vp  the  weake  plants  &c.  Tiie  Lord 
rebuke  Sathan,  and  iudge  betwixt  vs.  Our  enimies  cheefest  arguments  against  vs 
hitherto,  haue  been  reproch  and  cursed  speaking,  with  violence  and  oppression.  But 
let  them  know  and  vnderstand,  that  for  all  these  things  God  wil  bring  them  vnto 
iudgment,  whe  they  shall  receiue  such  recompence  of  their  error  and  wickednes  as  is 
meet. 

The  last  and  great  scandall  wliich  offendeth  manie  and  turneth  them  out  of  the 
way,  is  the  seed  of  discord  which  Sathan  hath  sought  to  sowe  emongst  our  selues,  set- 
ting variance  emong  brethren,  prevayling  mightely  in  the  children  of  perdition,  whom 
hee  hath  eyther  turned  back  into  apostacie,  or  dryven  into  heresie  or  schisme.  Heerby 
hee  hath  caused  the  truth  of  God  to  bee  much  evill  spoken  of,  and  to  suffer  great  re- 
proch at  our  aduersaries  hands,  whoe  haue  long  wayted  for  our  halting.  Such  things 
(good  Reader)  are  neyther  new  nor  strange  vnto  vs,'*  (though  much  to  bee  lamented,) 


I 


m  In  the  same  Table. 

ti  Martin  Marprelat.' 

<?Gen.  19,  14.     Isa.  52,  II.     Jir.  51.  9.     Act.  2,  40.     2  Cor.  6.  17.     Rev.  iS,  4. 

/  Answere  to  the  Brownists,  pag.  4.  &  50.-^ 

1  Regarding  ihe  tracts  published  under  this  pseudonym  see,  i>!h'r  ah'a.  Dexter,  Coi^.  us  seen, 
pp.  131-202. 

2  Black  Letter  again.  '  /.  e.  Those  of  the  Puritans. 

■«  Some  of  the  quarrels  in  this  church,  always  a  discordant  body,  are  described  by  Dexter, 
Con^^.  as  seen,  pp.  271-35T. 

*  The  reference  fits  Gifford's  Plainc  Declaration  that  ouy  Bro-.unists  be  full  Donatists, 
L  LonJon,  1590,  better  than  his  Short  Reply  vnto  the  last  printed  books  of  Henry  Bar>-oiu  and 
^B      /o/tn  Greeniuoody  London,  1591. 

L 


58  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

yt  beeing  the  lot  of  Christs  Church  "°  to  haue  such  trebles  within  yt  self,  and  as  inci- 
dent to  the  same  as  is  the  crosse  of  outward  tribulation.  Neyther  can  anie  that 
knoweth  the  state  of  Gods  people,  or  the  word  of  God  aright,  looke  for  other  things 
in  this  world,  where  wee  are  but  strangers  &  pylgrims,  warring  against  manie  and 
^  mightie  adversaries,  even  the  Prince  of  darknes,  with  his  band  of  spirituall  wicked- 
nesses, wee  are  taught  of  God  a  that  ther  must  bee  discentios  &  heresies  emogst 
our  selves,  that  they  which  are  approved  may  bee  knowne,*?"  that  greevous  wolves 
should  enter  in  emongst  vs,  and  of  our  selves  men  arise,  speaking  perverse  things  to 
draw  away  disciples  after  them.  By  such  suborned  guests  of  satan  doth  our  r  Lord 
sift  &  trye  vs,  whither  wee  love  him  with  our  whoU  harts  or  no.  wherfore  though  (/ 
never  so  many  forsake  vs,  &  oure  own  e  frends  dele  vnfaithfuUy  with  vs,  /  yet  wee 
know  assuredly  it  shalbe  well  with  Israeli,  even  to  the  pure  in  hart,  when  wee  call 
to  mynde,_o-  the  murder  of  Cain,/^  the  devidingof  Cham,?'  the  flowting  of  Ismael,  /'  the 
hatred  of  Esau,/ the  envie  of  the  Patriarks,w  the  rebellion  of  Corah, «  the  conspiracie 
of  Absalon,c  the  treason  of  Judas,/  the  hypocrisie  of  Ananias  and  Saphira,  (/  the 
Apostacie  of  Demas,r  the  heresie  of  Nicholas,  and  manie  suchlike  mischevous  prac- 
tises in  old  tyme,  with  in  the  housholds  of  the  Saincts,  and  Churches  of  God,  wee 
mervell  not  though  in  these  last  &  evill  dayes  some  childre  of  Belial,  that  were  of  old 
ordeyned  vnto  this  condemnation,  rise  vp  in  the  Church  and  work  the  vnrest  and  sor- 
"row  of  the  same.  The  tyme  is  come  that  iudgment  must  begin  at  the  house  of  God, 
the  Lord  will  proue  vs  to  the  vtmost,  and  suffer  Sathan  to  wynnow  vs  as  wheat,  but 
Peters  Faith  is  prayed  for  that  it  fayle  not,  and  hee  that  shall  contynue  to  the  end, 
hee  shalbee  saued.  This  is  our  comfort,  that  God  will  heerby  purge  his  vine,  and  dis- 
close [x]  the  disguysed  hypocrits  which  come  vnto  vs  in  sheeps  garments,  but  his  own 
portion  hee  will  bring  thorow  the  fire,  and  fine  them  as  the  Silver  is  fined,  and  will 
trye  them  as  the  Gold  is  tryed,  to  the  prase  &  glory  of  his  own  great  name.*°  These 
things  are  stumbling  blocks  vnto  the  blynde  and  hard  harted  worldlings,  who  haue  no 
loue  vnto  the  truth,  nor  wilbee  brought  vnto  the  obedience  of  the  same.  It  is  iust 
with  God  to  let  them  bee  offended  by  such  things.  But  hee  knoweth  to  delyuer  the 
godly  out  of  temptation.  Let  him  therfore  that  readeth  consider,  &  the  Lord  gyue 
him  vnderstanding  in  all.f  Weigh  all  things  vprightly  in  the  ballance  of  the  Sanctu- 
arie,  and  iudg  righteous  iudgment.  Bee  not  offended  at  the  sunplicitie  [simplicity]  of 
the  Gospell,  neyther  hold  the  Faith  of  our  glorious  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  respect  of 
mens  persons.  Gods  cause  shall  stand  when  al  that  handle  yt  amisse  shall  fall  before 
yt.|°  Wee  offer  heere  our  Fayth  to  the  view  and  tryall  of  all  men.  Try  all  things 
and  keep  that  which  is  good  :  and  yf  thou  shalt  reape  anie  frute  by  these  our  labors 
(gentel  Reader)  gyue  God  the  glory. 

Though  Babel  should  mount  vp  to  heauen,  and  though  she  should  defend 

hit-  sfre7igh  on  high,    Vet  from  f?ie  shall  hir  destroyers  come  saith  the  Lord. 

Icrem.  51.  53. 

Sane  vs  o  Lord  our  God  and  gather  vs  from  amoiig  the  nat!07ts,  for  to 

celebrate  thv  holy  name.  For  to  glory  in  thy  prayse.     Psal.  106.  47. 


*°  Dan.  II,  34.  a  i  Cor.  11,  15.  b Kci.  20,  29,  30. 

(T  Deut.  13.  3.  d]o\\.  6,  5,6.  ^  Lam.  i,  2. 

/Psal.  73,  I.  i'Gen.  4.  /^  Gen.  9. 

2  Gen.  2.  /'Gen.  27.  /Gen.  37. 

m  Num.  16.  n  2  Sam.  15.  0  Mat.  26. 

/Act.  5.  qi  Tim.  4.  ;■  Revel.  2. 

*°  2  Thes.  2,  10.  II.  12.  f°  2  Pet.  2.  9.  X°  Mat.  11.  5.  6. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  59 

[xi]  A'  TRVE  CONFESSION  of  thk  faith,  and  hvmble 
ACKNOWLEDGMENT  OE  THE  ALEgeaiice,  vvhicli  vvc  hir  Majesties 
Subjects,  falsely  called  Brovvnists,  doo  hould  towards  God,  and 
yeild  to  hir  Majestic  imd  all  other  that  are  ouer  vs  in  the  Lord. 
Set  down  in  Articles  or  Positions,  for  the  better  &  more  easie 
vnderstanding  of  those  that  shall  read  yt :  And  published  for  the 
cleering  of  our  selues  from  those  vnchristian  slanders  of  heresie, 
schisme,  pryde,  obstinacie,  disloyaltie,  sedicion,  &c.  which  by  our 
adversaries  are  in  all  places  given  out  against  vs. 


T 


JFc'C  hclceue  wiih  our  hearts  <3^  coiifcs  with  our  months. 
Hat  ther  is  but*  one  God,  one  Christ,  one  Spirit,  one  Church, 
one  truth,  one  Faith,''  one    Rule  of  obedience   to  all  Chris- 
tians, in  all  places. 

aDeut.  6,  4.  Hos.  13,  4.  Mark.  12,  29,  32.  Eph.  4,  4.  5.  6.  i  Cor.  12,  13. 
bRom.  16,  26.     I  Cor.  4,  17.  &  16.  i.     Gal.  i,  8.  g. 

2  That  God  is  a  '^Spirit,  whose''  beeing  is  of  himself,  and* 
giveth  beeing,  moving,  and  preservation  to  all  other  things  beeing 
himself^  eternall,  most  hol}'^,  every  way  infinit,  in  greatnes,  wis- 
dome,  powre,  goodnes,  justice,  truth,  &c.  And  that  in  this  God- 
head there  bee  three ^  distinct  persons  ''coeternall,  coequall,  &  ''co- 
essentiall,  beeing  every  one  of  the  one  &  the  same  God,  &  ther- 
fore  not  divided  but  distinguished  one  fro  another  by  their  sev- 
erall  &:  peculiar  propertie  :  The  ^Father  of  none,  the  Sonne"  be- 
gotten of  the  Father  from  everlasting,  the  holy  °Gost  proceding 
from  the  Father  and  the  Sonne  before  all  beginnings. 

cjohn.  4,  24.  dExod.  3,  14.  Esa.  43,  10,  11.  eRom.  11,  36.  Act  17,  2S. 
Gen.  I.  f  I  tim.  1,17.  Reu.  4,  iS.  Esa.  6,  3.  and  66.  i.  2.  Psal.  145,  3.  8.  9. 
17.  &  147.  5.  Rom.  I,  20.  gi.  Joh.  5,  7.  Mat.  2S,  19.  Hag.  2,  5.  6.  Heb. 
9,  14.     hRro.  8,  22.     Joh.  i.  i.     Heb.  g,  14.     iPhil.   2,  6.     Joh.   5,  18.     Eph.  4, 

4.  5.  6.     kjoh.  10,  30.  38.      I  Corint.  2,  11.  12.     Heb.  i,  3.     1  Joh.  5,  26.     i  Cor. 

5,  6.     mjoh.  I,  14.  18.  &  3.  16.     Mica.  5,  2.     Psal.  2,  7.      njoh.  14,  26.  &  i.  16. 
Gal.  4,  16. 

3  That  God"  hath  decreed  in  himself  from  everlasting 
touching  all  things,  and  the  very  least  circumstances  of  every 
thing,  effectually  to  work  and  dispose  the  according  to  the  coun- 
sell  of  his  own  will,  to  the  prayse  and  glorie  of  his  great  name. 
And  touching  his  cheefest  Creatures  that  God  hath  in^  Christ*^  be- 
fore the  foundation  of  the  world,'  according  to  the  good  pleasure 
of  his  will,'    ordeyned   som  men  and  Angells,  to  eternall  lyfe  to 


'  The  Confession  is  printed  in  Roman,  with  the  texts  on  the  margin  of  the  page.     I  have  put 
the  te.xts  after  each  section  for  convenience,  following  in  tliis  the  Latin  edition  of  1598. 


k 


6o  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

bee*  accomplished  through  lesus  Christ,  to  the  ''prayse  of  the 
glorie  of  his  grace.  And  on  thother  hand  hath  li^'evvise  '^before 
of  old  according''  to  his  iust  purpose^  ordein^d  other  both  Angels 
and  men,  toe  ternall  condemna-[xii]tion,  to  bee''  accomplished 
through  their  oam  corruption  to  the*  prayse  of  his  iustice. 

oEsa.  46,  10.  Ro.  II,  34.  35.  36.  Act.  15,  18.  &  2,  22.  Gen.  45,  5.  6.  7.  8. 
Mat.  10,  29,  30.  and  20.  15.  Eph.  i,  11.  pEph.  i,  3.  4.  11.  qibid  &  mat.  25, 
34.  rEph.  I,  5.  Rom.  g,  11,  12,  13.  Mai.  i,  2.  2,  Tim.  i,  g.  sAct.  13,  48. 
Eph.  I,  4.  5.  I.  Tim.  5,  21.  Mat.  25,  31.  34.  tEphes.  x,  5.  7.  10.  Col.  1,  14. 
17.  18.  19.  &  2.  10.  Rom.  8.  ig.  30.  Rev.  ig.  10.  veph.  i,  6  to  g,  11.  wjud. 
vcr.  4.  X  Rom.  g,  11.  12.  15.  17.  18.  with  Mai.  i,  3.  Exod.  9.  16.  yjud.  ver.  4, 
&  6.  ro  g,  22.  Mat.  25,  41.  z2.  Pet.  2,  12.  2.  Cor.  4,  3.  4.  i  pet.  2,  8.  joh. 
3.  19.     &  Pro.  16,  4.     rom.  2,  5.  and  9.  22. 

4  T/;at  in  the  "beginning  God  made  all  t/angs  of  not/ang 
Z'ery  good:  and  "^ created  man  after  his  07^1  image  and  lykenes  in 
rig//teousnes  and  //olines  of  trut//.  That^  streig//t  7i:'ays  after  by 
the  subtiltie  of  the  Serpent  7v/nch  Sathan  vsed  as  his  instrument*^ 
himself  7cnt/i  /ns  Angells  //aving  sinned  before  and  not  kept  t//eir 
first  estate,  but  left  their  own  //abitation  ;  first  ^Er'a,  t//en  Adam  by 
//ir  meanes,  did  7i;'ittingly  &  rcillingly  fall  into  disobedience  & 
transgression  of  t//e  commadement  of  God.  For  t/ie  w/iic/i  deat/i^ 
reigned  over  all :  yea  ez'en'  ouer  infants  also,  a'hic//  //ave  not 
sinned,  after  the  lyke  maner  of  the  transgression  of  Adam,  t//at  is, 
actually:  Yet  are''  all  since  t//e  fall  of  Adam  begotten  in  his  o-rcn 
likenes  after  Ais  image,  beeing  conceyued  and  borne  in  iniquitie, 
and  soo  by  nature  the  chi/dren  of  rcrath  and  servants  of  sinne, 
and  subiect  to  deat//,  and  all  ot//er  calamities  due  vnto  sinne  in 
this  world  and  for  euer. 

cGen.   I.     Col.    i,  16.     Esa.   45,  12.     Heb.   11,  3.     Revel.  4,  11.     dGen.   i, 

26.  27..  Eph.  4,  24.  Eccles.  7,  31.  eGen.  3,  i.  4.  5.  2.  Cor.  11,  3.  Joh.  8, 
44.  f  2.  Pet.  2,  4.  Joh  8,  44.  Jud.  6.  gGenes.  3,  i.  2.  3.  6  i.  Tim.  2,  14. 
Eccles.  7,  31.  Gal.  3,  22.  hRom.  5,  12.  iS.  19.  and  6.  23.  with  Gen.  2,  17. 
iRom.  5.  14.  and  9,  11.     kGen.  5,  3.     Psal.  51,  5.     Eph.  2,  3. 

5  TY/at  all  man/^inde  beeing  t/ms  fallen  and  become  alto- 
get//er  dead  in  sinne,  &  subiect  to  t//e  eternall  vz'rat//  of  God  both 
by  original/  and  actuall  corruption:  T/ie  'elect  are  redeemed, 
quickned,  raysed  vp  and  saued  againe,  not  of  t//emselues,  neit/^er 
by  vz'orks,  lest  ani,?  man  s/zould  host  //imself ;  but  vv/zolly  and 
only  by  God  of  //is  free  grace  and  mercy  through  faith  in  Christ 
lesus,""  who  of  God  is  made  vnto  vs  vvisdome,  &  righteousnes, 
&  sanctificatio,  &  redemption,  that  according  as  it  is  written,  Hee 
that  reioyceth  let  him  reioyce  in  the  Lord. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  6l 

IGen.  3,  15.  Eph.  2,  4.  5.  Gen.  15.  6.  with  Rom.  4,  2.  3.  4.  5.  and  3.  24. 
25.  26.  Joh.  3,  16.  mi.  Cor.  i,  30.  31.  Phil.  3,  8.  9.  10.  11.  Jir.  23.  5.  6.  and 
9.  23.  24. 

6  That  this  therfore  only  is  lyfe"  etcrnall  to  /'now  the  only 
true  God,  &  whom  bee  hath  sent  into  the  world  lesus  Crist. 
And  that  on  the  contrarie  the  "Lord  will  reder  vengeance  in 
flaming  fire  vnto  them  that  know  not  God,  &  which  obey  not 
the  Gospell  of  our  Lord  lesus  Christ. 

njoh.  17,  3,  and  3  36.  Jir.  31,  33.  34.  02.  Thes.  i,  8.  Eph.  i,  6.  joh. 
3,  36- 

7  That  the  rule  of  this  X'nowledge  faith  »S:  obedience,  con- 
cerning the  P worship  &  service  of  God  &  ''all  other  christia 
dutyes,  is  not  the  'opinions,  devises,  lawes,  or  constitutions  of 
me,  but  the  written  word  of  the  everlyving  God,  cohteyned  in 
the  canonicall  bookes  of  the  old  and  new  Testament. 

pExod.  10,  4.  5.  6.  Deu.  4,  2.  5.  6.  Gen.  6,  22.  Exod.  39,  42.  43.  i. 
Chron.  28.  19.  qPsal.  119.  105.  rEsa.  29,  13.  Mat.  15,  9.  Joh.  5,  39.  2. 
Pet.  16,  19.     2.  tim.  3,  16.  17. 

8  That  in  this  word^  lesus  Christ  hath  reveled  watsoever 
his  father  thought  needfull  for  vs  to  know,  beleeue  &  obey  as 
touching  his'  person  &  Offices,  in''  vz'hom  all  the  promises  of  God 
are  yea,  &  in  vz'hom  they  are  Amen  to  the  prayse  of  God  through 
vs. 

s  Deut.  iS,  iS.  Joh.  i,  18.  &  15,  15.  &  4.  25.  Act.  3.  22.  t  the  whol  Epis- 
tle to  the  Ilebr.  throughout,  &  2.  Cor.  1,28. 

[xiii]  9  That  touching  his  person,  the  Lord  lesus,  of  who'' 
Moses  «S:  the  Prophets  wrote,  &  who  the  Apostles  preached,  is  the 
^everlasting  6'onne  of  6^od,  by  eternall  generation,  the  brightnes 
of  his  Fathers  glorie,  &  the  engrauen  forme  of  his  Person;  coes- 
sentiall,  coequall,  &  coeternall,  god  with  him  &  with  the  holy 
Gost,  by  who  hee  hath  made  the  worlds,  by  whom  hee  vphould- 
eth  and  governeth  all  the  works  hee  hath  made;  who  also  z'Z'hen 
the^  fulnes  of  tyme  was  come,  i'va.s  made  man  of  a  woman,  of  ''the 
Tribe  of  /udah,  of  the  ''  seed  of  Dauid  &  Abraham,  to  wyt  of 
Mary  that  blessed  Virgin,  by  the  holy  Ghost  comming  vpon  hir,  & 
the  povvre  of  the  most  high  ouershadowing  hir;  &  was  also*"  in  all 
things  lyke  7'nto  vs,  sinne  only  excepted. 

.\  Luk.  24,  44.  Joh.  5,  46.  Act.  10,  41.  43.  y  Pro.  S,  22.  mica.  5,  2.  Joh. 
I,  I.  2.  3.  Ileb.  I.  Collos.  I,  15.  16.  17.  z  GaL  4,  4.  Gen.  3,  15.  a  ileb.  7. 
14.  Revel.  5,  5.  b  Rom.  i,  3.  Gen.  22,  i3.  Mat.  i.  i.  etc.  Luk.  3,  23  etc. 
Esa.  7,  14.  Luk.  I.  26.  27.  etc.  Hebr.  2,  16.  c  Ileb.  4.  15.  Esa.  53,  3.  4.  9. 
Phil.  2,  7.  8. 


62  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

10  That  touching  his  Office,  hee*^  only  is  made  the  Mediator 
of  the  new  Testament,  ez^en  of  the  euerlasting  Couenant  of  grace 
between  God  &:  man,  to  bee  perfectly  &  fully  the  ^/'rophet,  Priest 
&  Kin^"-  of  the  Church  of  6^od  for  euermore. 

d  I.  Tim.  2,  5.  Heb  9.  15.  &  13.  20.  Dan.  9  24.  25.  e  Deut.  18,  15.  18. 
Psal.  no.  4.  Psal.  45,  Esa.  9,  6.  7.  Act.  5.  31.  Esa.  55.  4.  Heb.  7,  24. 
Luk.   I,  32,  33. 

11  That  hee''  7'vas  fro  euerlasting,  by  the  iust  &  sufficient 
authoritie  of  the  father,  &  in  respect  of  his  manhood  fro  the  womb, 
called  &  seperated  heervnto,  &  anoynted  also  most  fully  &  abound- 
antly  with  all  necessarie^ifts,  as  is  ^  written;  God  hath  not  meas- 
ured out  the  Spirit  vnto  him. 

f  Pro.  8,  23.  Esa.  42,  6.  &  49.  i.  5.  and  11,  2.  3.  4.  5.  Act.  10.  38.  g  Joh. 
3,  34- 

12  That  this''  Office,  to  bee  Mediator,  that  is,  Prophet,  Priest 
and  King  of  the  Church  of  God,  is  so  proper  to  him,  as  neither  in 
the  whol,  nor  in  anie  part  therof,  it  ca  be  trasferred  fro  him  to 
anie  ot//er. 

h  I.  Tim.  2,  5.  Heb.  7.  24.  Dan.  7.  14.  Act.  4,  12.  Esa.  43,  11.  Luk. 
I,  33- 

13  T/i3.t  touching  his'  Prop//ecie,  C/^rist  /ia.t/i  perfectly  re- 
^'ealed  out  of  the  bozome  of  his  father,  the  wholl  word  &  will  of 
God,  that  is  needfuU  for  his  seruants,  either  ioyntly  or  seuerally  to 
know,  beleeue  &  obey  :  That  hee  hath  spoken  &  doth  speake  to 
his  Church  in  his  own''  ordinance,  by  his  own  ministers  and  in- 
struments only,  and  not  by  anie  false'  ministrie  at  anie  tyme. 

i  Deu.   18,   15.    18.  Act.   3,   22.   23.   24.     Mat.   3,  17.     Joh.   i.   18.  &  17.  8. 

Eph.    I.   8.  9.     2.  Tim.  3.   15.   16,   17.     k  Pro.  9,  3.     Joh.   13,  20.     Luk.  10.  16. 

Mat.    10.   40.   41.      Deu.  33,   8.  10.      1  Mat.  7,  15.  16.  &  24.  23.  24.      2.  Pet.  2.     2. 

Tim.  4.  3.  4.      Rom.  10,  14.  15.      ier.  23,  21.      2.  ioh.  10. 

14  That  toching  his"'  Priest//ood,  beein  consecrated,  hee 
hath  appeered  once  to  put  away  sinne,  by  offring  &  sacrificing  of 
himsell  ;  and  to  th/s  end  hath  fully  performed  aud  suffred  all 
those  things,  by  which  God  through  the  blood  of  that  his  crosse, 
in  an  acceptable  sacrifice,  might  bee  reconciled  to  his  elect;  & 
/mving"  broke  r/o7'7'n  f/ie  partition  z'Z'all,  &  ///erz'znth  finished  &  re- 
moued  al  those  legal  rites,  shadowes,  &  ceremonies,  is  no7i:'°  en- 
tred  z'7'ithin  the  7'ayle  into  t//e  holy  of  ZTolies  to  the  z'ery  heauen, 
and  presence  of  6^od,  r'Z'here  hee  for  euer  lyueth,  and  sitteth  at  the 
right  hand  of  Maiestie*  appering  before  the  face  of  his  Father,  to 
make  intercession  for  [xiv]  such  as  come  vnto  the  Throne  of  grace 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  63 

by  that  new  &  living  way;  And  not  that  only,  but  maketh  his  peo- 
ple aP  spirituall  howse,  an  holy  Priesthood,  to  offer  up  spirituall 
sacrifices,  acceptable  to  God  through  him.  Neither  doth  the 
Father  accept,  or  Christ  offer  anie  other  sacrifice,  worship,  or 
worshippers. 

m  Joh.  17,  19.  Heb.  5,  7.  S.  9.  &  91  [9.  26]  i.  Esa.  53,  Ro.  5,  19.  i.  Pet. 
I,  2.  Collos.  I,  20.  Eph.  5,  2.  n  Eph.  2,  i.  4.  15.  16.  Ileb.  9,  «S:  10.  o  Heb. 
4,  14.  16.  &  9.  24.  and  10.  19.  20.  *  Rom.  3,  34.  p  i.  Pet.  2,  5.  Rev.  r,  5.  6. 
and  8.  3.  4.  Rom.  12,  i.  Mar.  9,  49.  50.  Mai.  i,  14.  Joh.  4  23.  24.  Mat.  7, 
6.  7.  8.     Esa.  I,  12.  etc. 

15  That  touching  his''  A'ingdom,  beeing  risen,  ascended,  en- 
tred  into  glory,  set  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  al  powre  in  Heaven 
and  earth  giue  vnto  him;  which  powre  hee"^  now  exerciseth  ouer 
all  Angells  and  men,  good  and  dad  [bad],  to  the  preservation  and 
saluation  of  the  elect,  to  the  overruling  and  destruction  of  the 
reprobate;^  communicating  and  app/ying  the  benefits,  virtue  and 
frutes  of  his  prophecy  and  Priesthood  vnto  his  elect,  namely  to  the 
remission,  subduing,  and  takeing  away  of  their  sinnes,  to  their  ius- 
tification,  adoption-of-sonnes,  regeneration,  sanctification,  pre- 
servation &  stregthning  in  all  their  spirituall  conflicts  against 
Sathan,  the  world  &  the  flesh  &c.  continually  dwelling  in,  govern- 
ing &  keeping  their  hearts  in  his  tue  [true]  faith  and  fear  by  his 
holy  spirit,  which  having'  once  give  yt,  hee  never  taketh  away 
from  them,  but  by  yt  still  begetteth  and  nourisheth  in  them  repent- 
ance, faith,  loue,  obedience,  comfort,  peace,  ioy,  hope,  and  all 
christian  vertues,  vnto  immortallitie,  notwithstanding  that  yt  be 
sometymes  through  sinne  and  tentation,  interrupted,  smothered, 
and  as  yt  were  overwhelmed  for  the  tyme.  Againe  on  the  con- 
trary,'' ruling  in  the  world  over  his  enimies,  Nathan,  and  all  the  ves- 
sels of  wrath;  limiting,  vsing,  restrayning  them  by  his  mightie 
powre,  as  seemeth  good  in  diuiue  wisdome  and  iustice,  to  the  ejv:- 
ecution  of  his  determinate  counsell,  to  wit  to  their  seduction, 
hardning  &  condemnation,  delyvering  them  vp  to  a  reprobate 
mynde,  to  bee  Z-ept  in  darcknes,  sinne  and  sensuallitie  vnto  iudg- 
ment. 

q  I.  Cor.  15,  4.  etc.     i.  Pet.  3,  21.  22.     Mat.  28,  iS,  20.     r  Josh.  5,  14.     Zech. 

1,  8.  etc.  Mark  i,  27.  Heb.  i.  14.  s  Eph.  5,  26,  27.  Ro.  5,  and  6.  and  7.  and 
8.  Chap.  Rom.  14,  17.  Gal.  5,  22.  23.  i.  Joh.  4,  13.  etc.  t  Psal.  51,  lo.  11.  12. 
and  89.  30.  31.  32.  33.  34.  Job.  33,  29.  30.  Esa.  54,  8.  9.  10.  Joh.  13,  i.  and 
16.  31.  32,  with  Luc.  22,  31.  32.  40.  2.  Cor.  12,  7.  8.  9.  Eph.  6,  10.  11.  etc. 
Rom.  II,  29.  Gal.  5,  17.  22.  23.  v  Job.  i,  6.  and  2.  Chap.  i.  King.  22.  19. 
Esa.  10,  5.  15.     Rom.  9,  17.  18.     Rom.  i,  21.  and  2.  4.  5.  6.     Eph.  4,  17.  i3.  19. 

2.  Pet.  3,  3.     I.  Thess.  5,  3.  7.     Esa.  57,  20.  21.     2.  Pet.  2,  the  who!  Chapter. 


64  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

16  T'hat  this  Kingdom  sliall  bee  then  fully  perfected  when 
hee  shal  the''  second  tyme  come  in  glorie  with  his  mightie  Angells 
vnto  iudgment,  to  abolish  all  rule,  authoritie  and  povvre,  to  put 
all  his  enimies  vnder  his  feet,  to  seperate  and  free  all  his  chosen 
from  them  for  ever,  to  punish  the  wicked  with  ez-'erlasting  perdi- 
tion from  his  presence,  to  gather,  ioyne,  and  c^-rry  the  godly  rcith 
himself  into  endlesse  ^lory,  and  then  to  delye^er,  z'p  the  Kingdome 
to  God,  ez'en  the  Father,  that  so  the  glorie  of  the  father  may  bee 
full  and  perfect  in  the  Sonne,  the  glorie  of  the  Sonne  in  all  his 
members,  and  God  bee  all  in  all. 

X  Dan.  12,  2.  3.  Joh  5,  22.  28.  29.  Mat.  25,  31.  i.  Cor.  15.  24.  Mat.  13, 
41.  49.     2.  Thes.  I,  9.   10.     I.  Thes.  4,  17.     Joh.  17,  22.  23.     i.  Cor.  15,  28. 

[xv]  1 7  That  in  the  meane  tyme,  bisides  his  absolute  rule  in  the 
7<;'orld,  Christ  hath  here  in  earth  a^  spirituall  A'ingdome  and  je  can- 
onicall  regiment  in  his  Church  ouer  his  serz'ants,  which  Church  hee 
hath^  purchased  and  redeemed  to  himself,  as  a  peculiar  inheritance 
(notyt'ithstanding"  manie  hypocrites  do  for  the  tyme  lurk  emongest 
the)  ^calling  and  winning  them  by  the  pofcre  of  his  a'ord  zmto  the 
faith,  "seperating  them  from  emongst  tmbeleez'ers,  from  idolitrie, 
false  7c'orship,  superstition,  z'anitie,  dissolute  lyfe,  &  7£/orks  of  dark- 
nes,  &c;  making  them  a  royall  Priesthood,  an  holy  Nation,  a  peo- 
ple set  at  libertie  to  sheia  foorth  the  znrtues  of  him  that  //ath  called 
them  out  of  darknes  into  his  meruelous  light,  "^gathering  and  zmit- 
ing  the  together  as  members  of  one  body  in  his  faith,  loue  and  holy 
order,  riito  all  generall  and  mutuall  dutyes,^  in^-Zructing  Sr^oz'ern- 
ing  the  by  such  officers  and  lawes  as  hee  hath  prescribed  in  his 
word;  by  7<:'hich  Officers  and  lawes  hee  goz'erneth  his  Church,  and 
by*'  none  other. 

y  Joh.  18.  36.  Heb  3,  6.  and  10.  21.  i.  Tim.  3,  15.  Zach.  4,  17.  z  Act. 
20,  28.  Tit.  2,  14.  a  Mat.  13,  47.  and  22.  12.  Luk.  13,  25.  b  Mar.  16,  15.  16. 
Col.  I,  21,  I.  Cor.  6  II.  Tit.  3,  3.  4.  5.  c  Esa.  52.  11,  Ezr.  6,  21.  Act.  2,40. 
2.  Cor.  6,  14.  Act.  17,  3.  4.  and  19.  9.  i.  Pet.  2,  4.  5.  9.  25.  d  Esa.  60,  4.  8. 
Psal.  no,  3.  Act.  2  41.  Eph.  4,  16.  Col.  2,  5.  6.  e  Esa.  62,  6.  Jer.  3,  15, 
Ezek.  34.  Zech.  11,  8.  Heb.  12,  28.  29.  Mat.  28,  20.  f  :Mat.  7,  15.  and  24.  23. 
24.  2.  Tim.  4,  3.  4.  Jer.  7,  30.  31.  and  23.  21.  Deu.  12,  32.  Reu.  2,  2.  &  22. 
)8.  19 

18  That  to  this^  Church  hee  hath  made  the  promises,  and 
giuen  the  seales  of  his  Covenant,  presence,  loue,  blessing  and  pro- 
tection:*" Heere  are  the  holy  Oracles  as  in  the  side  of  the  Arke, 
suerly  kept  &  puerly  taught.  Heere  are'  all  the  fountaynes  and 
springs  of  his  ^s,'-race  continually  replenished  and  florc'ing  forth. 
Heere  is''  hee  lyfted  r'p  to  all  Nations,  hither  hee'  inuiteth  all  me  to 


TEXT   UK   THE   CONFESSION  65 

his  supper,  his  maria^e  feast;  hither  ought""  all  men  of  all  estates 
and  degrees  that  ac/('no7<;'ledg  him  their  Prophet,  Priest  and 
A'ing  to  repayre,  to  bee"  enrolled  emon^^st  his  houshold  seruants, 
to  bee  ender  his  heauenly  conduct  and  goz'ernment,  to  leade  their 
lyues  in  his  7i:'alled  sheepfold,  iSc  7t'atered  orchard,  to  hauc  com- 
munion heere  rcith  the  Saincts,  that  they  may  bee  made  meet  to 
bee  partakers  of  their  inheritace  in  the  kin^'-dome  of  God. 

g  Lev.  26,  II.  12.  Mat.  2S,  19.  20.  Rom.  9,  4.  Ezek.  4S.  35,  2.  Cor.  6 
iS  h  Esa.  S,  16.  I.  tim.  3,  15.  and  4.  16.  &  6.  3.  5.  2.  Tim.  i,  15.  tit.  i,  9 
Lieu.  31.  26.  i  Psal.  46,  4.  5.  Ezek.  47,  i.  etc.  Jola.  38,  39.  k  Isa.  11.  12 
Job.  3,  14.  Isa.  49,  22.  1  Esa.  55.  i.  Mat.  6,  33.  &  22.  2.  Pro.  9,  4.  5.  Job 
7,  37.  m  Deu.  12,  5.  II.  Esa.  2,  2.  3.  Zach.  14,  16.  17.  18.  19.  n  Esa.  44.  5 
Psal.   87,  5.  6.     Can.  4.  12.     Gal.  6,  10.     Col.  i,  12.  13.     Eph.  2,  19. 

19  That  as"  all  his  seruants  and  subiects  are  called  hither,  to 
present  their  bodyes  and  soules,  and  to  bring  the  ^uyfts  God  hath 
giz'en  them;  so  beeing  come,  they  are  heer  by  himself  bestorived  in 
their  sez'erall  order,  peculiar  place,  due  vse,  beeing  fitly  compact 
and  knit  together  by  euery  ioynt  of  help,  according  to  the  effect- 
ual! 7i'ork  in  the  measure  of  euery  parte,  7'nto  the  edification  of  yt 
self  in  loue;  TC'herzmto  whe  heei"  ascended  vp  on  high  hee  gaue 
guifts  7'nto  men,  [xvi]  that  hee  might  fill  all  these  things,  and  hath 
distributed  these  guifts,  z'Uto  seuerall  functions  in  his  Church,  hau- 
ing  instituted  and  ratified  to*!  contynue  z'nto  the  fcorlds  end,  only 
this  publick  ordinarie  Ministerie  of  Pastors,  Teachers,  Elders,  Dea- 
cons, Helpers  to  the  instruction,  goz'ernment,  and  seruice  of  his 
Church. 

oSee  the  iS.  Article  before,  and  E.xod.  25.  2.  and  35.  5.  i  Cor.  12,  4.  5.  6.  7. 
12.  iS.  Rom.  12.  4.  5.  6.  I.  Pet.  4.  10.  Eph.  4,  16.  Colos.  2,  5.  p  Eph.  4,  8. 
10.  II.  12.  13.  Rom.  12,  7.  8.  &  16.  I.  I.  Cor.  12.  4.  5.  6.  7,  8.  11.  14.  15.  16. 
17.  18.  23.  I.  Tim.  3,  &  5.  3.  9.  17.  21.  Act.  6,  2.  3.  &  14.  23.  and  20.  27.  28. 
Phil.  I,  I.     q  Rev.  22,  18.  19.     Mat.  28,  20.     i.  Tim.  6,  13,  14. 

20  That  this  ministerie  is  exactly""  described,  di.s-/inguished, 
limited,  concerning  their  office,  their  calling  to  their  office,  ther 
administration  of  their  office,  and  their  maintenance  in  their  office, 
by  most  perfect  and  playne  ^lari'es  in  Gods  7i'ord,  7<:'hich  km'es  it  is 
not  la7£/full  for  these  Ministers,  or  for  the  7i:^holl  Church  7t'ittinly  to 
neglect,  trans<,^resse,  or  7'iolate  in  anie  parte;  nor  yet  to  receiue 
anie  other  lar^'es  brou^-ht  into  the  Church  by  anie  person  Tchatso- 
e7'er. 

r  Pro.  8,  8.  9.  heb.  3.  2.  6.  the  first  Epistle  to  Timothy  wholly.  Act.  6,  3. 
5.  6.  &  14.  23.  &  20,  17.  etc.  I.  pet.  5,  2.  3.  I.  Cor.  5,  4.  5.  11.  12.  13.  etc.  and 
9.  7.  9.  14.  s  Heb.  2.  3.  and  3.  3.  and  12.  25.  etc.  2.  Tim  3,  14.  15.  Gal.  i,  S.  9. 
I  tim.  6,  13.  14.     Deut.  12,  32.  and  4.  2.     Revel.  22,  18.  19. 


66  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1596 

21  T//at'  none  may  z'surp  or  execute  a  ministerie  but 
such  as  are  rightly  called  by  the  Church  7^'hereof  they  stand  minis- 
ters; and  that  such  so  called  ought  to  gyve  all  diligence  to''  fulfill 
ther  ministerie,  to  bee  found  faithfull  and  emblamable  in  all  things. 

tNum.  16,  5.  40.  &  iS.  7.  2.  Chron.  26.  iS.  Joh.  10.  i.  2  and  3.  27.  Heb. 
5.  4.  Act.  6,  3.  5.  6.  &  14.  23.  Tit.  I,  5.  vAct.  2.  28.  i.  cor.  4,  i.  2.  Col.  4, 
17.  I.  Tim.  I,  18.  19.  &  4.  12.  and  5  21  &  6.  11.  12.  13.  14.  2.  Tim.  i,  13.  14. 
and  3.  14.  and  4.  5,  i.  Pet.  5,  i.  2.  3.  4. 

2  2  That  this  ministerie  is  alyke  given  to  euery  Christian  con- 
gregation, 7c'ith  like  poz'zre  and  commission  to  haue  and  enioy  the 
same,  as  God  offereth  fit  men  and  meanes,  the  same  rules  giz'en  to 
all  for  the  election  and  execution  therof  in  all  places. 

Mat.  23,  20.  I.  cor  14,  33.  36.  i.  Cor.  12,  4.  5.  6.  7.  and  4.  17.  and  16.  i. 
eph.  4,  10.  II.  12.  13.     I.  cor.  3,  21.  22.  23.     Mat.  18.  17.     see  Article  20. 

23  That  as  ez^ery  christian  Congregation''  hath  povvre  and 
commandement  to  elect  and  ordeine  their  own  ministerie  accord- 

,ing  to  the  rules  prescribed,  and^  ^t'hilest  they  shal  faithfully  execute 
their  office,  to  haue  them  in  superaboundant  loue  for  their  vvorke 
sake,  to  pror'ide  for  them,  to  honour  them  and  reuerence  them,  ac- 
cording to  the  dignitie  of  the  office  they  execute.  So  have  they 
also''  po7'vre  and  commandement  when  anie  such  defalt,  either  in 
their  lyfe.  Doctrine,  or  administration  breaketh  out,  as  by  the  rule 
of  the  word  debarreth  them  from,  or  depriveth  them  of  their  minis- 
terie, by  due  order  to  depose  them  from  the  ministerie  they 
exercised;  yea  if  the  case  so  require,  and  they  remayne  obstinate 
and  impenitent,  orderly  to  cut  them  off  by  excommunication. 

X  Act.  6,  3.  5.  6.  &  14.  23.  2.  Cor.  8.  19.  Act.  15.  2,  3.  22.  25.  i.  Tim.  3, 
10.  and  4.  14,  &  5.  22.  Num.  8,  9.  10.  yi.  Thes.  5,  12.  13.  I.  Tim.  5,  3.  17. 
Heb.  13,  17.  I.  cor.  9.  Gal.  6.  6.  z  i.  Tim.  3,  10.  and  5.  22.  Rom.  16,  17. 
Phyl.  3,  2.  iS.  19.      I.  Tim.  6,  3.-5.      Ezek.  44,  11.  13.      Mat.  18,  17. 

24  That*  Christ  hath  given  this  poz'Z're  to  receiue  in  or  to  cut 
off  anie  member,  to  the  vvholl  body  together  of  euery  Christian 

.  Congregation,  and  not  to  anie  one  member  aparte,  or  to  moe  mem- 
bers sec^uestred  from  the  77'holl,  or  to  anie  other  Congregation  to 
doo  it  for  the:  yet  that^  ech  Congregation  ou_o-ht  to  vse  the  best 
help  they  can  heer  z'nto,  and  the  most  meet  member  they  haue  to 
pronounce  the  same  in  their  publick  assembly. 

a  Psal.  122.  3.  Act.  i,  47.  Rom.  16,  2.  Lev.  20,  4.  5.  &  24.  14.  Num.  5, 
3.  Deu.  13,  9.  Mat.  18,  17.  i.  cor.  5,  4.  2.  cor.  2,  6.  7.  8.  b  i.  Cor.  3,  21. 
22.  23.     Act.  15.     I.  cor.  3,  4.  5.  &  12.  20. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  67 

[xvii]  25  That  euery  member  of  ech  Christian  Congregation, 
how  excellent,  great,  or  learned  soeutT,  ought  to  be  subiect  to 
this  censure  &  iudgment  of  Christ;  Yet  ought  not  the  Church 
without  great  care  &  due  advise  to  procede  against  such  publick 
persons.' 

Lev.  4.  Psal.  141,  5.  and  2,  10.  11.  12.  &  149.  8.  9.  i.  Chro  26,  20.  Act. 
II,  2.  4.     I.  Tim.  5,  19.  20.  21. 

26  T//at  for  t/;e  "=  keeping  of  this  C/imch  in  /loXy  &  orderly 
communion,  as  Christ  hsith  placed  some  speciall  men  oz^er  the 
Church,  who  by  t/^eir  ofifice  are  to  governe,  ouersee,  visite,  «/atch, 
&c.  So''  lykevmse  for  t//e  better  keeping  therof  in  all  places,  by 
all  t//e  members,  hee  hath  giuen  aut//oritie  &  layd  duty  z'pon  the 
all  to  K^atch  one  ouer  another. 

cCant.  3,  3.  Esa.  62,  6.  Eze.  33.  2.  Mat.  14,  45.  Luk.  12,  42.  Act.  20, 
28.  Heb.  13,  17.  b!\Iar.  13,  34,  37.  Luk.  17,  3.  i.  Thes.  5,  14.  Gal.  6,  i. 
Jude.  3,  20.     Hebr.  10,  24,  25.  &  12.  15. 

27  That  z't'/nlest  the  Ministers  and  people  t/nis  remayne  to- 
get/ier  in  this  holy  order  and  c//ristian  communion,  ech  one  en- 
devoring  to  do  the  w\\\  of  God  in  t//eir  calling,  &  thus  to  walke 
in  t//e  obedience  of  fait//  C//rist  //at//  promised  to  bee  present  vvith 
t//em,  to  blesse  &  defend  them  against  all  adverserie  powre,  & 
that  t//e  gates  of  Hell  s//all  not  prevayle  against  t//em. 

Deu.  28,  I.  etc.  Mat.  28,  20.  Luk.  12,  35.  36.  37.  3S.  Mat.  16.  18.  Zach. 
2,  5.  &  12,  2.  3.  4.     Tsal.  125,  2.  &  132.  12.  13.  etc. 

28  But  7t'hen  &  vv//ere  this  holy  order  &  diligent  watch  7<:'as 
intermitted,  neglected,  violated.  Antichrist  that  man  of  sinne 
corrupted  «&  altered  t//e  holy  ordinances,  offices,  &  administratios 
of  the  c//urc//  broug//t  in  &  erected  a  strange  ne?*'  forged  minis- 
terie,  leitourgie  aad  government  &  the  Nations  kingdoms  &  in- 
habitants of  the  eart//,  were  made  drunken  with  t//is  cup  of  forni- 
cations &  abhominations,  &  all  people  enforced  to  receiue  the 
Beasts  marke  and  wors//ip  his  image  &  so  brought  into  confusion 
&  babilonish  bondage. 

Rev.  9.  &  13.  &  17.  &  18.  I.  Thes.  2,  3.  4.  9.  10.  11.  12.  psal.  74.  Esa. 
14.  13.  14.  Dan.  7.  25.  and  8.  10.  11.  12.  lS:  ii.  31.  i.  Tim.  4,  1.2.  i.  job.  2, 
iS.  22.  &  4.  3. 

29  T//at  the  present  ministerie  reteyned  &  vsed  in  Englad  of 
Arch.  h^^.  Lo''^'  Deanes,  Prebendaries,  Canons,  Peti-Canons,  Arch- 


>  An  answer  to  the  frequent  question  what  would  they  do  with  a  sovereign  worthy  of  excom- 
munication. 

2  Lord  bishops,  the  favorite  Separatist  designation  for  a  diocesan  bishop  as  distinguished  from 
a  New  Testament  bishop. 


68  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

Deacons,  Chancellors,  Commissaries,  Priests,  Deacons,  Parsons, 
Viccars  Curats,  Hireling'-  rouin^'-  Preachers,  Church-wardens, 
Parish-clerkes  t//eir  Doctors,  Proctors,  &  fcholl  rable  of  those 
Courts  with  all  from  &  vnder  t//em  set  ouer  these  Cathedrall  & 
Paris/nonall  Assemblies  in  this  confusion,  are  a  strange  &  Anti- 
christian  ministerie  &  offices;  &:  are  not  that  ministerie  aboue 
named  instituted  in  Christs  Testament,  or  allowed  in  or  ouer  his 
Church. 

Revel,  g,  3.  etc.  &  13.  15.  16.  17.  &  18.  15.  17.  compared  with  Rom.  12,  7. 
8.  Eph.  4,  II.  12.  I.  Tim.  3.  15.  &  5.  17.  Compare  this  Art.  with  tlie  i.  7.  12. 
13.  14.  19.  20.  21.  22.  23.  24.  28.  Articles  aforesaid. 

30  7"hat  their  *  Offices,  Entrance,  Administration  and  main- 
tenance, with  their  ^names,  titles,  przileges,  &  prerogatiues  the 
pOt'Z're  &  rule  they  z'surp  ouer  and  in  these  Ecclesiasticall  assem- 
blies' ouer  the  wholl  ministerie,  7i;'holl  ministration  and  affaires 
therof,  yea  one  ouer  another  by  their  making  Priests,  citing,  sus- 
'pending,  silencing,  deposing,  absoluing,  excommunicating,  &c. 
Their    confounding    of     Ecclesiasticall     and    Civile    iurisdiction, 

xauses  &  proceedings  in  ther  persons,  courts,  [xviii]  comissions, 
Visitations,  the  rest  of  lesse  rule,  taking  their  ministerie  fro  and 
exercising  it  vnder  them  by  their  ^prescription  and  limitation, 
swearing  Canonicall  obedience  vnto  them,  administring  by  their 
devised  impose^/,  sfmted  popish  Leiturgie,  «S:c.  are  sufficient  proofs 
of  the  former  assertion,  the  perticulars  therin  beeing  duly  exam- 
ined by  and  compared  to  the  Rules  of  Christs  Testament. 

eCompare  with  Articles  i,  7.  12.  13.  14.  19.  etc.  Rev.  9.  3,  etc.  &  18.  15.  17. 
Joh.  10,  I.  Dan.  7,  8.  25.  and  8.  10.  11.  12.  2  Thes.  2.  3.  4.  8.  g.  rev.  17,  4. 
5.  16.  fLuk.  22,  25.  26.  Rev.  14.  II.  &  17.  3.  4.  5.  &  13.  15.  16.  17  I.  Pet.  5, 
3.  with  Joh.  3,  2g.  &  with  Rev.  2.  i.  i.  King.  12.  27.  zac.  11.  15.  16.  gRev. 
13,  15.  16.  17.  Esa.  29.  13.  Mat.  7,  7.  8.  Ga.  i,  10.  etc.  &  2,  4.  5.  Col.  2,  20. 
22.  23.     Ezek.  8,  5.  &  13.  9.  ID.  II.  18.  19.     Mica  2,  11.     mal.  i,  8.  13.  14. 

31  That  these  Ecclesiasticall  Assemblies,  remayning  in  con- 
fusion and  bondage  vnder  this  Antichristian  Ministerie,  Courts, 
Canons,  7^'orship,  Ordinances.  &:c.  without  freedom  or  poz'Z're  to 
redresse  anie  enormitie,  have  not  in  this  confusion  and  subiection, 
Christ  their  Prophet,  Priest,  and  King,  neither  can  bee  in  this 
estate,  (whilest  7aeQ  iudge  them  by  the  rules  of  Gods  rcord)  es- 
teemed the  true,  orderly  gathered,  or  costituted  churc//es  of 
Christ,  rc'herof  the  faithfull  ought  to  beecome  or  stand  Members, 
or  to  haue^  anie  Sp/rituall  communion  with  them  in  their  publick 
wors//ip  and  Administration. 


TEXT    OF   THE    CONFESSION  69 

Rev.  iS,  2.  I.  Cor.  14,  33.  Jir.  15,  19.  Mai.  i,  4.  6.  8.  IIos.  4,  14.  etc. 
Rom.  6,  16.  2.  Pet  2,  19.  compare  with.  Art.  i.  7.  11.  12.  13.  14.  15.  17.  18.  19. 
20.  24.  28.  29.  30.  aforesaid,  h  Levit.  17,  Hos.  4,  15,  i.  Cor.  10.  18.  ig.  20.  2. 
Cor.  6,  14.  15,  16.     Rev.  18,  4.     Cant,  i,  6.  7. 

^2  That*  by  Gods  Commandement  all  that  will  bee  saued, 
must  with  speed  come  forth  of  this  Antichristian  estate,''  leaving 
the  suppression  of  it  vnto  the  Magistrate  to  whom  it  belongeth.' 
And  that  both  all  such  as  haue  receyued  or  exercised  anie  of  these 
false  Offices  or  anie  pretended  function  or  Ministerie  in  or  to  th/s 
false  and  Antichristian  constitution,  are  V7'illingly  in  Cjods  feare,  to 
giue  ouer  and  leaue  those  vnlavr'full  Offices,  and  no  longer  to  minis- 
ter in  this  maner  to  these  Assemblies  in  this  estate  And  that'  none 
also,  of  what  sort  or  condition  soever,  doo  giue  anie  part  of  their 
C'oods,  Lands,  Money,  or  money  Vt'orth  to  the  maintenance  of  this 
false  Ministerie  and  vr'orship  vpon  anie  Commandement,  or  vnder 
anie  colour  e'vhatsoeuer. 

i  Reu.  18,  4.  Esa.  48,  20.  and  52.  11.  Jir.  50,  8.  &  51.  6.  45.  Zech.  2,  6. 
k  2.  Chro.  15,  and  27.  6.  2.  King.  23,  5.  etc.  Rom.  13,  4.  Mat.  22,  21.  rev. 
17,  16.  1  Zech.  13,  2.  4.  5.  6.  Jir.  51,  26.  Psal.  119,  59.  60.  128.  Prov.  5,  20. 
Esa.  8,  II.  12.  and  35.  8.  Zach.  14,  21.  Prov.  3,  g.  10.  compared  witli  Exod.  20. 
4,  5-  Judg.  17.  3.  4.  5.  Ezek.  16.  17.  18.  19.  i.  Cor.  10.  19.  20.  21.  22.  com- 
pared with  Ileb.  13,  10.  &  with  2.  Cor.  8.  3.  4.  5.     i.  Tim.  5,  17. 

;^^  That  beeing  come  forth  of  this  antic/zristian  estate  t'nto 
the  freedom  and  true  profession  of  Christ,  besides  the'"  instructing 
and  [xix]  7'vell  guyding  of  their  own  Families,  they  are"  willingly 
to  ioyne  together  in  c/zristian  communion  and  orderly  couenant, 
and  by  confession  of  Faith  and  obedience  of  Christ,  to"  <"nite  them- 
selues  into  peculiar  Congregatios;  vvherin,  as  members  of  one  body 
j'vherof  Christ  is  the  only  head,  t//ey  are  to  e'vorship  and  serue 
God  according  to  his  vj'ord,  remembringP  to  keep  holy  the  Lords 
day. 

m  Gen.  18.  19.  E.xod.  13,  8.  14.  Pro.  31,  26.  27.  Eph.  6,  4.  Deut.  6,  7. 
Psal.  78,  3.  4  n  Luk.  17,  37.  Psal.  no,  3.  Mat.  6,  Esa.  44.  5.  Act.  2,  41,  42. 
Jir.  50,  4.  5.  Neh.  9,  38.  Act.  2,  41.  42.  o  i.  Cor.  i,  2.  and  12.  14.  Rev.  i, 
20  and  2.  I.  8.  12.  18.  &  3.  i.  7.  14.  Eph.  2,  19.  Col.  2,  19.  p  Exod.  20,  8. 
Rev.  I,  10.     Act.  20,  7.     I.  Cor.    16,  2. 

34  That  such  as""  God  hath  giuen  o-uiftes  to  enterpret  the 
Scriptures,  tryed  in  the  exercise  of  Prophecie,  ghnng  attendance  to 
studie  and  learn/ng,  may  and  ou^^ht  by  the  appointment  of  the  Con- 
gregation, to  teach  publickly  the  word,  ^'ntill  the  people  bee  meet 
for,  and  God  manifest  men  e-vith  able  guifts  and  fitnes  to  such  Of- 

'  See  anie,  p.  46. 


70  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

fice  or  Ofifices  as  Christ  hath  appointed  to  the  publick  ministerie  of 
his  church;  but  'no  Sacraments  to  bee  administred  7'ntill  the  Pas- 
tors or  Teachers  bee  chosen  and  ordeyned  into  their  Office. 

q  I.  Cor.  14,  rom.  12.  6.  i.  Cor.  12,  7.  i.  Pet.  4,  10.  Act.  13.  15. 
I.  Thes.  5,  20.     r  Num.  16,  10.  39.  40.     Rom.  12.  7.     Heb.  5,  4.     Joh.  i,  23.  25. 

35  That'  vz'heras  ther  shalbee  a  people  fit,  and  men  fur- 
nished 7inth  meet  and  necessarie  ^uifts,  they  doo  not  only  still  con- 
,tinue  the  exercise  of  Prophecie  aforesayd,  but  doo  also  vpon  due 
tryall,  proceed  vnto  choyce  and  ordination  of  Officiers  for  the  min- 
isterie and  serzdse  of  the  Church,  according  to  the  rule  of  6^ods 
z'Z'ord;  And  that  soe  they'  hold  on  still  to  vvalke  forrcard  in  the 
Tf'ayes  of  Christ  for  their  mutuall  edification  and  comfort,  as  it 
shall  please  God  to  giue  knowledge  and  grace  thervnto.  And  per- 
ticularly,  thaf  such  as  bee  of  the  seed,'  or  vnder  the  goz'ernment 
of  anie  of  the  Church,  bee  euen  jn  their  infancie  receiued  to  Bap- 
tisme,  ond  made  perta,^ers  of  the  signe  of  Gods  Couenant  made 
with  the  faithfull  and  their  seed  throz'ghout  all  Generations.  And 
that^  all  of  the  Church  that  ^re  of  yeeres,  and  able  to  examine 
themselues,  doo  communicate  also  in  the  Lords  Supper  both  men^ 
and  women,  and  in^  both  kindes  bread  and  vvyne  in  rcdiich*  Ele- 
ments, as  also  in  the  j'vater  of  baptisme,  euen  after  their  are  con- 
secrate, there  is  neyt/^er  transubstantiation  into,  nor  Consubstan- 
tiation  with  t//e  bodye  and  bloode  of  /esus  Christ ;  vvhome  ''the 
iYeauens  must  conteyne;  z'ntill  the  tyme  [xx]  that  al  things  bee  re- 
stored. "But  they  are  in  the  ordinance  of  God  signes  and  scales  of 
Gods  euerlasting  couenant,  representing  and  offring  to  all  the  re- 
Ceiuers,  but  exhibiting  only  to  the  true  beleevers  the  Lord  lesus 
Christ  and  all  his  benefits  vnto  righteousnes,  sanctification  and 
eternall  lyfe,  through  faith  in  his  name  to  the  glorie  and  prayse  of 
God. 

s  Lev.  8.  Act.  6,  3.  5.  6.  &  14.  21.  22.  23.  Tit.  i,  5.  etc.  i.  Cor.  12,  7.  8. 
14.  15.  I.  Tim.  3.  t  Col.  2,  5.  6.  7.  2.  Thes.  2.  15.  Jud.  3,  etc.  Mat.  28, 
20.  V  Act._2,  38,  39.  I.  Cor.  7,  14.  Rom.  11,  16,  Gen.  17,  7.  12.  27.  i.  cor. 
10,  2.  Psal.  22,  30.  Exod.  12,  48.  49.  Act.  16,  15.  33.  i.  Cor.  i,  16.  Mar.  10, 
13,  14.  15.  16.  Gal.  3,  29.  X  Mat.  26,  26.  27.  i.  Cor.  11.  28.  and  10.  3.  4.  16. 
17.  act.  2,  42,  &  20.  7.  8.  y  Gal.  3,  28.  Act.  2.  42.  with  i.  i  4.  i.  Cor.  12, 
13.  z  Mat.  26,  26.  27.  I.  Cor.  10,  3.  4.  16.  &  11.  23.  24.  25.  26.  27.  28.  29. 
a  I.  Cor.  10,  16.  17.  &  II.  23.  24.  25.  26.  etc.  Mat.  26,  26.  27.  29.  &  15.  17. 
Joh.  12,  8.  b  Act.  3,  21.  &  7.  56.  c  Gen.  17,  11.  rom.  4,  11.  Exod.  12,  13. 
with  Heb.  13,  20.  d  i.  Cor.  11,  26.  27.  28.  29.  &  10.  3.  4.  5.  Rom.  2.  28.  29. 
Act.  15.  9.     Rom.  5,  &  6.  7.  &  8.  Chapt. 


1  /.  e..  Children  of  those  who  are  members  of  the  local  church,  thus  in  covenant  relation  with 
God. 


TEXT   OF   THE    CONFESSION  7I 

36  That  thus'  beehig  righly  gathered,  established,  and  still 
proceeding  in  christian  communion  l\:  obedience  of  the  (Jospell  of 
Christ,  none  is  to  seperate  for  falts  and  corruptions  which  may  and 
so  long  as  the  Church  consisteth  of  mortall  men,  will  fall  out  & 
arise  emong  them,  even  in  a  true  constituted  Church,  but  by  due' 
order  to  seeke  redresse  therof. 

e  Lev.  4.  13.  etc.     2.  Chro.  15,  9.  17.  and  30.  iS.  19.     rev.  2,  and  3.     i.  Cor. 

1.  10.  Phil.  2,  I.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  and  3.  15.  16.  heb.  10.  25.  ind  Qude]  19.  f  2.  Cor. 
13.  I.  2.  rev.  2.  and  3.  i.  Thes.  5.  14.  2.  Thes.  3,  6.  14.  Mat.  iS,  17.  i.  Cor. 
5,  4.  5.     Act.  15.  I.  2. 

37  Thats  such  as  yet  see  not  the  truth,  may  heare  the  publik 
doctrine  and  prayers  of  the  church,  and  7inth.  al  mee/mes  are  to  bee 
sought  by  all  meanes:  Yet  ''none  7t'ho  are  gro74:'ne  in  yeeres  to 
bee  receiz;ed  into  their  communion  as  members,  but  such  as  doo 
make  confession  of  their  faith,  publickly  desiring  to  bee  receiued  as 
members,  and  promising  to  ^calke  in  the  obedience  of  Christ. 
Neither  anie'  Infants,  but  such  as  are  the  seed  of  t//e  faithfuU  by 
one  of  the  parents,  or  z'nder  their  education  and  gouernment.  And 
further  not  anie"*  from  one  Congregation  to  bee  receiued  members 
in  another,  rcithout  bringing  certificate  of  their  former  estate  and' 
present  purpose. 

g  I.  cor.  14,  24.  25.  Psal.  18.  49.  rom.  15,  9.  10.  i.  Tim.  2,  4.  2.  Tim.  2, 
25.  h2.  Cor.  6,  14.  15.  16.  Ezra.  4,  3.  Exod.  12,  43.  Lev.  22.  25.  Exod,  34. 
12.  Deu.  7,  Esa.  44.  5.  Act.  19,  18.  i  Exod.  20,  5.  6.  i.  Cor.  7,  14.  Gen.  17, 
7.  12.  27.     Exod.  12,  48.  49.     Act.  16,  15,  33.     k  Act.  9,  26.   27.     rom.   16,   i.  2. 

2.  Cor.  3,  23.     Col.  4,  la 

38  That  though  Congregations  bee  thus  distinct  and  sez'erall 
bodyes,  every  one  as  a  compact  Citie  in  it  self,  yet  are  they  all  to 
Ti'alke  by  one  and  the  same  rule,  &  by  all  meanes  conz'enient  to 
haue  the  counsell  and  help  one  of  another  in  aU  needfull  affayres 
of  the  Church,  as  members  of  one  body  in  the  common  Faith,  vnder 
Christ  their  head. 

Look  Articles  i.  22.  23.     Psal.  122  3.     Cant.  8.  8.  9.     i.  cor.  4,  17.  and  16.  i. 

39  That  it  is  the  Office  and  duty  of  Princes  and  Magestrates, 
hi'ho  by  the  ordinance  of  God  are  supreme  Governers  <-'nder  him 
over  all  persons  and  causes  within  their  Realmes  and  Dominions, 
to"'  suppress  and  root  out  by  their  authoritie  all  false  ministeries, 
7'oluntarie  Relligions  and  counterfeyt  7t'orship  of  God,  to  abolish 
and  destroy  the  Idoll  Temples,  Ima<^es,  Altares,  Vestments,  and 
all  other  monuments  of  Alolatrie  and  superstition  and  to  take  and 
conz'ert  to  their  07C'n  c'wWe  vses  not  only  the  benefit  of  all  such 


I 


72  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

idolitroLis  buyldings  &  monuments,  but  also  the  Revenues,  De- 
meanes.  Lordships,  Possessions,  Gleabes  and  maintenance  of  anie 
false  ministeries  and  vnlar^^full  Ecclesiastical!  functions  ^chatsoever 
K'ithin  their  Dominions,  [xxi]  And  on  the  other  hand"  to  estab- 
lish &  mayntein  by  their  lances  ee'ery  part  of  Gods  word  his  pure 
Relligion  and  true  ministerie  to  cherish  and  protect  all  such  as  are 
'carefull  to  worship  God  according  to  his  fcord,  and  to  leade  a 
godly  lyfe  in  all  peace  and  loyalltie;  yea  to  enforce  al  their  vSub- 
iects  7x4iether  Ecclesiasticall  or  civile,  to  do  their  dutyes  to  God 
and  men,  protecting  &  mainteyning  the  ^''ood,  punishing  and  re- 
streyning  the  evill  according  as  God  hath  commanded,  whose 
Lieuetenants  they  are  /^eer  on  earth. 

1  Rom.  13,  3.  4.  I.  Pet.  2.  3,  14.  2.  Chro.  ig,  4.  etc.  and.  29.  and  34.  Chap. 
Judg.  17,  5.  6.  Math.  28.  21.  Tit.  3,  i.  m  2.  King.  23,  5,  etc.  Psal.  no.  Deu. 
12,  2-.  3.  with  17.  14.  18.  ig.  20.  2  King.  10.  26.  27.  28.  2.  Chro.  17,  6.  Pro. 
-16,  12.  and  25.  2.  3.  4.  5.  Act.  ig,  27.  Rev.  17.  16.  n  Deut.  17.  14,  18.  ig.  20. 
Josua.  I,  7.  8.  2  Chro.  17,  4.  7.  8.  9.  &  19.  4.  etc.  &  29.  &  30.  Dan.  6,  25.  26. 
Psal.  2,  10.  II.  12.  &  72.  I.  etc.     Esa.  4g,  23.     Rev.  21.  24.     Ezra.  7.  26. 

40  That  therfore  the"  protection  &  commandement  of  the 
Princes  and  Magistrats  maketh  it  much  more  peaceable,  though'' 
no  whit  at  all  more  laz'Z'full,  to  e'valke  in  the  vvayes  and  ordinances 
of  lesus  C//rist  which  hee  hath  commanded  his  church  to  keep 
without  spot  and  vnrebukeable  vntill  //is  appeering  in  the  end  of 
the  world.  ^And  that  in  this  behalf  the  brethren  thus  mynded 
and  proceeding  as  is  beforesaid,  doo  both  contynually  supplicate 
to  God,  and  as  t/zey  may,  to  their  Princes  and  Gouernours  that  thus 
and  vnder  them  they  may  leade  a  quiet  and  peaceable  lyfe  in  all 
o-odlynes  and  honestie. 

o  Pro.  16,  15.  Ezr.  5.  and  6.  Act.  9,  31.  i.  Tim.  2,  2.  Dan.  6,  25.  26. 
Rev.  21,  24.  p  Act.  4,  iS.  19.  and  5.  28.  29.  Dan.  6,  7.  8.  9.  10.  22.  Luk.  21, 
12.  13.  Mat.  28,  20.  I.  tim.  5,  21.  and  6.  13.  14.  q  Psal.  72,  i.  etc.  i.  tim.  2, 
3.      2  chro.  15,  I.  2.      Ilag.  i.  4.  14.  and  2.  5. 

41  That  if  God  encline  the  Magistrates  //earts  to  the  alloz'- 
vance  &  protection  of  them  therin  they  accompt  it  a  happie 
blessing  of  God  lu/io  granteth  such  nourcing  Fathers  and  nourc- 
ing  Mothers  to  his  Church,  &  be  carefull  to  fcalke  worthie  so 
great  a  mercy  of  God  in  all  thankfulnes  and  obedience. 

Psal.  126,  I.  etc.  Esa.  49,  13.  and  60  16.  Psal.  72,  i.  etc.  Rom.  13,  3.  i. 
Ttm.  2,  2.  3.  4. 

42  T^hat  if  God  withold  the  Magistrates  allowance  and 
furtherace  heerin,  they"'    yet   proceed  together  in  christian  coue- 


TEXT   OF   THE   CONFESSION  73 

nant  (!v:  communion  thus  to  vvalke  in  the  obedience  of  Christ  eve 
throuj,'-!'!  the  middest  of  all  tryalls  and  afiictions,  not  accompting 
their  goods,  Lands  VVyves,  Children,  Fathers,  Mothers,  brethren, 
Sisters,  no  nor  their  077'n  lyues  dear  vnto  the,  so  as  they  may 
finish  t/ieir  course  rcith  ioy,  remembring  abvayes  that  wee  'ought 
to  obey  God  rather  the  ma,  &  grounding'  vpon  the  commande- 
ment,  commission  and  prom/se  of  our  Saviour  Christ,  who  as  hee 
hath  all  povvre  in  heaue  &  in  earth,  so  hath  also  promised  if  they 
keep  his  commandements  which  hee  hath  giue  rcithout  limitatio 
of  tyme,  place,  Magistrates  allowance  or  disallo^^^ance,  to  bee 
7<:'ith  them  7'nto  tbe  end  of  the  world  and  ^'z'hen  they  haue  finished 
their  course  and  kept  the  fait//,  to  giue  them  t//e  cro77'n  of  right- 
eousnes  z'vhich  is  layd  vp  for  all  them  that  loue  his  appeering. 

rAct.  2,  40.  41.  42.  and  4.  19.  and  5.  28.  29.  41.  and  16.  20.  etc.  and  17.  6.  7. 
and  20.  23.  24.  I.  Thes.  3.  3.  Phil.  i.  27.  2S.  29.  Dan.  3,  16.  17.  iS.  and  6.  7. 
10.  22.  23.  24.  Luk.  I  4,  26.  27.  &  21.  12.  13,  14.  2.  tim.  2,  12.  and  3,  12.  heb 
10,  32.  etc.  I.  Pet.  4.  Rev.  2,  10.  25.  26.  and.  6.  g.  and  12.  11  »Act.  5,  29.  and 
17.  6.  7.  t  Mat.  28.  18.  19.  20.  I.  Tim.  6,  13.  14.  15.  16.  2.  Tim.  4,  7.  8.  Rev. 
2,  10.  and  14.  12.  13.  and  22.   16.  17.  iS.  19.  20. 

43  That  they  doo  also  e'villingly  and  orderly  pay  and  per- 
forme  all  maner  of  laz'Z'full  and  accustomed  dutyes  zmto  all  men, 
submitting  [xxii]  in  the  Lord  themselues,  their  bodyes,  Landes, 
6^oods  and  lyves  to  the  J/agistrates  pleasure.  And  t//at  euery 
7'Z'ay  they  ac/^nowledge,  reverence  and  obey  them  according  to 
godlynes,  not  because  of  wrath  only  but  also  for  conscience  sake. 

Rom.  13,  I.  5.  6.  7.  Mat.  22,  21.  2.  chro  27,  Ezr  7,  26.  Tit.  3,  i.  i. 
Pet.  2,  13  etc. 

44  And  thus  doo  wee  the  6'ubiects  of  God  and  hir  Ma"^- 
falsely  called  Brownists  labour  to  giue  vnto  God  that  which  is 
Gods,  &  vnto  Csesar  that  7'e^hich  is  Caesars,  endevoring  our  selues 
to  haue  alwayes  a  cleere  conscience  towards  God  and  towards 
men  :  And  if  anie  ta/C'e  this  to  be  heresie,  then  doo  wee  With  the 
'Apostle  freely  confesse  that  after  the  way  vvhic/i  they  call 
heresie  we  worship  Cod  the  Father  of  our  Lord  /esus  Christ ; 
beleeving  all  things  that  are  written  in  the  Lae-e',  and  in  the 
Prophets  &  Apostostles :  And  whatspeuer  is  according  to  this 
word  of  truth  published  by  this  State  or  holden  by  anie  reformed 
churches  abrode  in  the  world. 

vAct.  24,  14. 

45  Unally,  vvheras  wee  are  much  slandered,  as  if  we 
denyed   or  misliked   t//at   forme   of    prayer   commonly  called  the 

6 


;4  THE   CONFESSION   OF    1 596 

Lords  Prayer  wee  thought  it  needful!  heere  also  concerning  it  to 
make  known  that  rvee  beleeue  and  acknoz'Z'ledg  it  to  bee  a  most 
absolute  &  most  excellent  forme  of  prayer  sush  [such]  as  no  men 
or  Angells  can  set  doame  the  like  And  that  it  was  taught  &  ap- 
pointed by  our  Lord  lesus  C/zrist,  not  that  wee  should  bee  tyed 
to  the  Z'se  of  those  very  words,  but  /hat  wee  should  according  to 
that  rule  mak^  all  our  requests  &  /hanksgyuing  e-nto  God,  foras- 
much as  i/  is  a  perfect  forme  and  patterne  conteynin^  in  it  playne 
&  sufficient  directions  of  prayer  for  all  occasions  and  necessities 
that  haue  been,  are,  or  shalbee  to  the  church  of  God,  or  anie 
member  therof  to  the  end  of  the  world. 

Mat.  6,  9.  etc.  Luk.  11,  2.  etc.  compared  with  Mat.  14,  30.  and  26.  39.  42. 
Act.  I.  24.  25.  and  4.  24.  etc.  Rom.  8,  26.  27.  Rev.  8,  3,  4.  Eph.  6.  iS,  19. 
Phyl.  4,  6.     Heb.  11,  iS.  19.  20.  21.     Jude  vers.  24,  25. 

JVorc  vnto  him  that  is  ahle  \ablc\  to  keep  vs  that  loee  fall  not,  &=  to 
present  tis  faltlesse  before  the  presence  of  his  glorie  with  Joy  j  that  is  to 
God  only  wise  oux  Sanioi/r,  lee  glory,  &=  Majestie  c^  dominion,  6^' 
powre  both  noiv  6^  for  ever.     Amen. 


IV 

THE  POINTS  OF  DIFFERENCE  BETWEEN  CON- 
GREGATIONALISM AND  THE  CHURCH  OF 
ENGLAND,    1603 

Editions  and  Reprints 

I.  In  Johnson  and  Ainsworth's  Apologic  or  Defence  of  svcli  Trve  Christians 
as  are  commonly  (luit  vniustly)  called  Brovvnists  :  etc.,  1604,  pp.  36-38.' 

II.  With  the  Confession  of  1596-98  in  Confessio  Fidei  Anglorttm  qiiorttndam 
in  Inferiori  Germania  exnlantiiim.  Vnd  cum  annotatione  hrevi  fracipuartim 
reriim  in  quilnts  differimns  ab  Ecclesia  Anglice,  etc.      1607.^ 

III.  Also  with  the  Confession  of  1596-98  in  The  Confession  of  faith  of  cer- 
tayn  English  people,  living  in  exile,  in  the  Lo7v  Countreyes.  Together  with  a  brief 
note  of  the  special  heads  of  those  things  wherin  7C'e  differ  fro  the  Church  of  Eng- 
Idd,  etc.     1607.^ 

IV.  Dutch  version  of  the  Apologie,  1614,'*  (probably). 
V.     Dutch  version  of  the  Apologie,  1670.° 

VI.     Dexter,  Congregationalism,  as  seen  in  its  Literature,  pp.  307,  30S. 
Literature 

Our  chief  source  of  information  regarding  these  petitions  and  the  circumstances 
under  which  they  were  presented  is  Johnson  and  Ainsworth's  Apologie,  already  cited ; 
Hanbury,  Memorials,  I:  112-117,  with  extracts  from  the  enlarged  form  of  the  Points 
of  Difference  ;  Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  III:  253-265,  with  an  ab- 
stract of  the  Points  and  extracts  from  the  petitions  ;  Dexter,  Congregationalism  as 
seen,  pp.  306-310. 

WHEN  death  removed,  in  1603,  the  great  queen  under  whose 
reign  the  London-Amsterdam  church  had  been  driven  into 
exile,  the  throne  was  taken  by  James  I.,  —  a  man  whose  affiUations 
and  promises  had  excited  the  hopes  of  all  parties,  from  the  Catho- 
lics to  the  Puritans,  but  who  was  to  disappoint  religious  men  of 
every  shade  of  opinion  except  the  supporters  of  the  royal  preroga- 
tive and  the  Church  in  the  form  established  by  Elizabeth.  At 
first,  however,  the  king's  real  sentiments  were  unknown,  and  it 
was  with  some  confidence  of  a  favorable  hearing  that  about  750 
ministers  of  the  Establishment,  of  Puritan  sympathies,  laid  before 


•  See  ante,  p.  41.  VI.  "^  Ante,  p.  41,  VII.  3  Ante,  p.  41,  VIII. 

*  Ante,  p.  41,  IX.  6  Ante,  p.  41,  X. 

(75) 


j6  THE   POINTS   OF   DIFFERENCE,    1603 

him  the  famous  Millenary  Petition/  praying  for  a  reform  of  the 
English  Church  in  the  direction  of  a  more  thorough-going  Protest- 
antism. These  hopes  of  the  Puritans  were  shared  by  the  little 
Separatist  body  at  Amsterdam,  and  in  like  manner  they  prepared 
a  petition  and  sent  it  to  London  Avith  a  copy  of  their  perfected 
creed  of  1598,  to  convince  the  new  king  at  once  of  their  loyalty 
and  the  correctness  of  their  views.  There  seems  little  doubt  that 
Johnson  and  Ainsworth  were  its  bearers."  Not  hearing  from  this 
petition,  the  representatives  of  the  church  sent  to  the  king  a  sec- 
ond appeal,  containing  the  brief  summary  of  the  fourteen  points  of 
difference  between  the  petitioners  and  the  Church  of  England, 
which  is  the  document  here  republished.  Whether  the  king,  or 
his  ministers,  saw  fit  to  make  any  inquiries  or  not,  we  do  not  know; 
but  the  Separatists  now  prepared  a  third  petition,  recapitulating 
the  points  already  presented  and  supporting  them  elaborately  by 
arguments  and  citations  from  the  Scriptures.  This  document 
seems  to  have  failed  of  a  hearing  altogether,  and  after  a  consider- 
able waiting,  a  man  of  position  or  influence  at  court  was  persuaded 
to  present  in  their  behalf  a  brief  little  prayer^  that  the  Amsterdam 
Separatists  might  be  permitted  to  live  in  their  native  land  on  the 
same  terms  as  the  French  and  Dutch  churches  then  enjoyed  on 
English  soil,  and  that  their  opponents  might  be  required  to  answer 
their  points  and  arguments,  and  the  whole  question  be  fairly  laid 
before  the  king.  The  result  was  unsatisfactory  enough.  The 
Separatists  received  none  of  the  things  for  which  they  sued.  And 
by  the  close  of  January,  1604,  the  Hampton  Court  Conference  must 
have  made  it  plain  to  all  men  that  no  essential  reforms  of  any  sort 
were  to  be  looked  for  from  the  new  English  ruler. 

Doubtless  the  Convocation  of  the  province  of  Canterbury,  which 
considered  and  adopted  161  canons  during  May,  June,  and  July, 
1603,  had  little  if  any  knowledge  of  the  petitions  which  the  obscure 
brethren  from  Amsterdam  were  pressing  upon  the  attention  of  the 


1  The  Petition  may  be  found  in  full  in  Fuller,  Chtirch  History  of  Britain^  ed.  London, 
1842,  III:  193-196;  or  in  Perry,  History  of  the  English  Church  (Student's  Series),  London,  1881, 
pp.  372,  373  (from  Fuller). 

2  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  306.      All  these  Separatist  petitions  are  in  the  Apologie. 

3  Johnson  and  Ainsworth,  Apologie,  p.  82  ;  see  also,  Punchard,  III :  264. 


THE    I'KTITIUNS   TO   KING   JAMES  yj 

king.'  But  as  one  reads  the  rules  for  church  government  which 
that  body  prepared,  under  royal  license,  and  which  the-  king's  let- 
ters-patent soon  approved,"  one  sees  clearly  that  Johnson  and  Ains- 
worth  had  nothing  to  hope  from  men  so  diametrically  opposed  to 
the  theories  of  the  church  which  the  Separatists  drew  from  the 
New  Testament.  Those  canons  declared  that  to  deny  the  true 
and  apostolic  character  of  the  Church  of  England,  as  then  estab- 
lished; to  hold  that  the  forms  of  prayer  or  the  rites  of  that  Church 
were  in  any  way  repugnant  to  Scripture,  or  superstitious;  to  ques- 
tion the  Christian  character  of  such  bfifices  as  archbishoprics, 
bishoprics,  or  deaneries;  to  doubt  the  lawfulness  of  the  ordination 
and  call  of  bishops,  priests,  and  deacons,  when  tested  by  the  Word 
of  God;  to  separate  from  the  Church  of  England,  or  to  assert  that 
any  other  bodies  of  English  subjects  than  those  assembling  accord- 
ing to  the  forms  established  by  law  can  constitute  a  true  church; 
to  do  or  declare  any  one  of  these  things  is  ipso  facto  to  incur  the 
penalty  of  excommunication,  in  such  severity  that  naught  but  a 
public  recantation  and  the  satisfaction  of  the  archbishop  as  to  the 
genuineness  of  his  repentance  can  restore  the  offender  to  the 
Church.  The  Separatists  might  well  feel  that  if  Elizabeth  had 
chastised  them  with  whips,  James  bade  fair  to  chastise  them  with 
scorpions.  The  best  that  they  could  hope  to  do  was  to  remain  be- 
yond his  reach  in  their  Amsterdam  exile. 

THE    POINTS    OF    DIFFERENCE. 

"  I.  That  Christ  the  Lord  hath  by  his  last  Testament  given  to 
his  Church,  and  set  therein,  sufficient  ordinary  Offices,  with  the 
maner  of  calling  or  Entrance,  Works,  and  Maintenance,  for  the 
administration  of  his  holy  things,  and  for  the  sufficient  ordinary 
instruction  guydance  and  service  of  his  Church,  to  the  end  of  the 
world.^ 


■  Perry,  History  of  the  Efiglish  C/turck,  pp.  367,  36S.  Neal,  History  0/  the  Puritans,  II  : 
■27,  31-36,  gives  an  epitome  of  the  canons  which  concern  dissent.  See  also  Punchard,  Hist.  0/  Cong., 
Ill:  273,  274. 

^  James  ordered  that  these  canons  should  be  read  in  every  church  at  least  once  a  year. 

'  This  was  a  point  of  difference  from  the  old  ecclesiasticism  of  the  early  Elizabethan  divines 
rather  than  from  the  rising  school  of  high  churchmen  which  had  its  beginnings  about  the  time  of 
the  publication  of  the  Trve  Description.  As  Perry  has  pointed  out,  the  early  Elizabethan  church 
theories  were  Erastian,  —  that  the  sovereign  preferred  Episcopacy  was  the  real  warrant  for  its  e.vist- 
ence.     Even  Whitgift,  the  archbishop  who  was  instrumental  in  the  deaths  of  P>arrowe  and  Green- 


;-8  THE    POINTS    OF   DIFFERENCE,    1603 

2.  That  every  particular  Church  hath  like  and  full  interest 
and  power  to  enioy  and  practise  all  the  ordinances  of  Christ  given 
by  him  to  his  Church  to  be  observed  therein  perpetually. 

3.  That  every  true  visible  Church,'  is  a  company  of  people 
called  and  separated  from  the  world  by  the  word  of  God,  and 
joyned  together  by  voluntarie  profession  of  the  faith  of  Christ,  in 
the  fellowship  of  the  Gospell.  And  that  therfore  no  knowne  Athe- 
ist, vnbelever,  Heretique,  or  wicked  liver,  be  received  or  reteined  a 
member  in  the  Church  of  Christ,  which  is  his  body;  God  having  in 
all  ages  appointed  and  made  a  separation  of  his  people  from  the 
world,  before  the  Law,  vnder  the  Law,  and  now  in  the  tyme  of  the 
Gospell. 

4.  That  discreet,  faithfull,  and  able  men  (though  not  yet  in 
office  of  Ministerie)  may  be  appointed  to  preach  the  gospell  and 
whole  truth  of  God,  that  men  being  first  brought  to  knowledge, 
and  converted  to  the  Lord,  may  then  be  ioyned  togeather  in  holy 
communion  with  Christ  our  head  and  one  with  another. 

5.  That  being  thus  ioyned,  every  Church  hath  power  in  Christ 
to  chuse  and  take  vnto  themselves  meet  and  sufficient  persons, 
into  the  Offices  and  functions  of  Pastors,  Teachers,  Elders,  Dea- 


wood,  used  language  which  at  least  implied  that  there  might  be  other  systems  of  church-govern- 
ment more  warranted  by  Scripture  example  than  Episcopacy.  But  with  Bancroft's  sermon  at 
Paul's  Cross,  in  1589,  the  claim  was  set  up  (rather  indistinctly  and  indirectly,  it  must  be  said)  that 
Episcopacy  is  of  divine  warrant  and  apostolic  example.  This  view  was  further  developed  by 
Thomas  Bilson,  bishop  of  Worcester  1596-7,  and  of  Winchester  from  1597  to  his  death  in  1616,  in 
his  Perpetval  Governcincnt  of  Christes  Ckvrch,  1593,  wherein  not  only  is  Episcopacy  asserted  to 
be  the  only  Scriptural  method  of  church  government,  but  apostolic  succession  is  affirmed  to  be 
essential  to  the  very  existence  of  the  church.  Even  the  moderate  Richard  Hooker,  in  his  Ecclesi- 
asticall  Politic^  '594i  w'hile  denying  that  Episcopacy  is  necessary  to  the  existence  of  the  church,  or 
under  all  circumstances  to  be  required,  asserted  it  to  be  the  form  of  government  most  agreeable  t& 
Scripture.  Bancroft  and  Bilson's  views  gained  constantly  over  the  Erastian  theories,  and  with 
Bancroft's  appointment  as  archbishop,  in  1604,  mounted  the  throne  of  Canterbury.  Yet  the  diverg- 
ence of  this  article  even  from  their  view  is  considerable,  for  though  the  high  churchmen  would  find 
in  Episcopacy  the  only  form  of  polity  warranted  by  the  Word  of  God,  they  hardly  claimed  that  all 
the  minutiae  of  offices  and  rites  were  prescribed  in  the  New  Testament.  See  Perry,  History  of  the 
Church  of  Eiigla.nd^  (Student's  Series,)  342-349.  Bancroft's  sermon  may  be  found  in  Hicks,  Bib- 
liotheca  Script.  Eccles.  A  ng-l.,  London,  1709,  pp.  247-315  (where  the  old  style  date  of  15S8  is  assigned 
to  it).  His  views  are  set  forth  with  more  elaboration  in  his  Svrvay  of  the  Pretended  Holy  Disci- 
pline, 1593.  A  new  edition  of  Bilson's  Perfetval  Go7'crnetnent  was  brought  out  by  Robert  EdeOj 
at  Oxford,  1S42. 

1  It  may  not  be  amiss  to  add,  as  an  illustration  of  the  conception  of  the  form  of  a  church  here 
set  forth,  the  definition  given  by  Henry  Jacob,  Johnson's  opponent  in  the  extreme  Separatism  of 
the  latter,  but  a  Congregationalist  of  great  desert,  the  friend  of  Robinson,  who  founded,  in  1616,  in 
Southwark,  London,  the  first  Congregational  church  to  maintain  a  continuous  existence  on  English 
soil.  It  is  in  his  Divine  Beginning  and  Institution  of  Christs  True  J'isii'le  or  Mijiisterial 
Church,  Leyden,  1610,  p.  [18]:  "A  true  Visible  &  Ministeriall  Church  of  Christ  is  a  nomber  of 
faithfull  people  joyned  by  their  willing  consent  in  a  spirituall  outward  society  or  body  politike,  or- 
dinarily comming  togeather  into  one  place,  instituted  by  Christ  in  his  New  Testament,  &  having 
the  power  to  exercise  Ecclesiasticall  government  and  all  Gods  other  spirituall  ordinances  (the  raeanes. 
of  salvation)  in  &  for  it  selfe  imniediatly  from  Christ." 


TKXT   OF   THE   POINTS   OF   DIFFERENCE  79 

cons  and  Helpers,  as  those  which  Christ  hath  appointed  in  his 
Testament,  for  the  feeding,  governing,  serving,  and  building  vp  of 
his  Church.  And  that  no  Antichristia  Hierarchic  or  Ministerie,  of 
Popes,  Arch-bishops,  Lord-bishops,  Suffraganes,  Deanes,  Arch-dea- 
cons, Chauncellors,  Parsons,  Vicars,  Priests,  Dumb-ministers,  nor 
any  such  like  be  set  over  the  Spouse  and  Church  of  Christ,  nor  re- 
teined  therein. 

6.  That  the  Ministers  aforesaid  being  lawfully  called  by  the 
Church  where  they  are  to  administer,  ought  to  continew  in  their 
functions  according  to  Gods  ordinance,  and  carefully  to  feed  the 
flock  of  Christ  committed  vnto  them,  being  not  inioyned  or  suf- 
fered to  beare  Civill  offices  withall,  neither  burthened  with  the 
execution  of  Civill  affaires,  as  the  celebration  of  marriage,  burying 
the  dead  <S:c.  which  things  belong  aswell  to  those  without  as  within 
the  Church.' 

7.  That  the  due  maintenance  of  the  Officers  aforesaid, 
should  be  of  the  free  and  voluntarie  contribution  of  the  Church, 
that  according  to  Christs  ordinance,  they  which  preach  the  Gospell 
may  live  of  the  Gospell:  and  not  by  Popish  Lordships  and  Livings, 
or  Jewish  Tithes  and  Offerings.  And  that  therefore  the  Lands 
and  other  like  revenewes  of  the  Prelats  and  Clergie  yet  remayning 
(being  still  also  baits  to  allure  the  lesuites  and  Seminaries"  into 
the  Land,  and  incitements  vnto  them  to  plott  and  prosecute  their 
woonted  evill  courses,  in  hope  to  enioy  them  in  tyme  to  come)  may 
now  by  your  Highnes  be  taken  away,  and  converted  to  better  vse, 
as  those  of  the  Abbeyes  and  Nunneries  have  been  heertofore  by 
your  Maiestyes  worthie  predecessors,  to  the  honor  of  God  and 
great  good  of  the  Realme. 

8.  That  all  particular  Churches  ought  to  be  so  constituted, 
as  having  their  owne  peculiar  Officers,  the  whole  body  of  every 
Church  may  meet  togeather  in  one  place,  and  iointly  performe 
their  duties  to  God  and  one  towards  another.  And  that  the  cen- 
sures of  admonition  and  excommunication  be  in  due  maner  exe- 
cuted, for  sinne,  convicted,  and  obstinatly  stood  in.     This  power 


1  This  article,  the  last  clauses  of  which  are  so  foreign  to  modern  Congregational  sentiment, 
represents  the  view  also  of  the  founders  of  New  England  regarding  marriages  and  funerals.  -As  far 
as  known,  the  first  instance  of  prayer  at  a  New  England  funeral  was  at  Roxbury  in  1685  (Palfrey, 
Hist.  N.  E.,  Ill:  495).  The  next  year,  1686,  saw  the  first  marriage  by  a  minister  in  Mass.  (Proc. 
Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  1858-60,  p.  283).  Connecticut  permitted  ministers  to  join  in  marriage  by  a  law  of 
Oct.  1694  (Conn.  Records,  IV:  136). 

^  I.  c,  the  priests  from  the  Seminary  which  Cardinal  William  .Mien  established  in  1568  at 
Douai  in  the  then  Spanish  Netherlands.  These  men,  trained  for  work  in  England,  from  1577  on- 
ward were  looked  upon  as  the  most  dangerous  foes  of  English  Protestantism. 


80  THE   POINTS   OF   DIFFERENCE,    1603 

also  to  be  in  the  body  of  the  Church  wherof  the  partyes  so  offend- 
ing and  persisting  are  members. 

9.  That  the  Church  be  not  governed  by  Popish  Canons, 
'Courts,  Classes,  Customes,  or  any  humane  inventions,  but  by  the 
lawes  and  rules  which  Christ  hath  appointed  in  his  Testament. 
That  no  Apocrypha  writings,  but  only  the  Canonical!  scriptures 
be  vsed  in  the  Church.  And  that  the  Lord  be  worshipped  and 
called  vpon  in  spirit  and  truth,  according  to  that  forme  of  praier 
given  by  the  Lord  lesus,  Math.  6.  and  after  the  Leitourgie  of  his 
owne  Testament,  not  by  any  other  framed  or  imposed  by  men, 
much  lesse  by  one  traslated  from  the  Popish  leitourgie,  as  the 
Book  of  common  praier  &c. 

10.  That  the  Sacraments,  being  scales  of  Gods  covenant, 
ought  to  be  administred  only  to  the  faithfull,  and  Baptisme  to 
their  seed  or  those  vnder  their  governement.  And  that  according 
to  the  simplicitie  of  the  Gospell,  without  any  Popish  or  other 
abuses,  in  either  Sacrament. 

11.  That  the  Church  be  not  vrged  to  the  observation  of 
dayes  and  tymes,  lewish  or  Popish,  save  only  to  sanctify  the  Lords 
day:  Neyther  be  laden  in  things  indifferent,  with  rites  and  cere- 
monies, whatsoever  invented  by  men;  but  that  Christian  libertie 
may  be  reteined:  And  what  God  hath  left  free,  none  to  make 
bound. 

12.  That  all  monuments  of  Idolatry  in  garments  or  any 
other  things,  all  Temples,  Altars,  Chappels,  and  other  place,  dedi- 
cated heertofore  by  the  Heathens  or  Antichristians  to  their  false 
worship,  ought  by  lawfull  aucthoritie  to  be  rased  and  abolished, 
not  suffered  to  remayne,  for  nourishing  superstition,  much  lesse 
imploied  to  the  true  worship  of  God. 

13.  That  Popish  degrees  in  Theologie,  inforcement  to 
single  life  in  Colledges,  abuse  of  the  study  of  prophane  heathen 
Writers,  with  other  like  corruptions  in  Schooles  and  Academies, 
should  be  remooved  and  redressed,  that  so  they  may  be  the  wel- 
springs  and  nurseries  of  true  learning  and  godlinesse. 

14.  Finally  that  all  Churches  and  people  (without  excep- 
tion) are  bound  in  Religion  only  to  receave  and  submit  vnto  that 
constitution,  Ministerie,  Worship,  and  order,  which  Christ  as  Lord 
and  King  hath  appointed  vnto  his  Church:  and  not  to  any  other 
devised  by  Man  whatsoever. 


V 

THE    SEVEN   ARTICLES   OF    1617   AND   THE    MAY- 
FLOWER  COMPACT   OF    1620 

A.  The  Seven  Articles,  1617 

This  important  declaration  long  remained  forgotten  among  the  documents  of  the 
State  Paper  Office  at  Westminster.  It  was  at  last  brought  to  light  by  the  historian, 
George  Bancroft,  and  communicated  by  him  to 

I.  Collectioiis  of  the  New  York  Historical  Society,  Second  Series,  New  York, 
1857;    III.     Pt.  I.  pp.  301,  302.     It  was  reprinted  by 

II.     Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  Boston,  1867.   Ill:  454,  455  ; 

III.  Waddington,  Congregational  History,  1^67-1700,  London,  1874,  206,  207; 

IV.  Doyle,  The  English  in  America,   The  Puritan  Colonies,  London,  1S87,  I: 
49,   50  ;    and 

V.     Goodwin,  The  Pilgrim  Republic,  Boston,  1888,  p.  41. 

Beside  some  brief  comments  in  the  works  of  Doyle,  Goodwin,  and  Punchard,  and 
an  important  letter  from  Bancroft  in  communicating  the  document  to  the  New  York 
Society  {Collections,  as  cited,  295-99),  a  few  facts  will  be  found  in  Bradford's  His- 
tory of  Plymouth  Plantation,  pp.  30,  31  (ed.  Boston,  1856),  and  a  somewhat  ex- 
tended discussion  in  Bacon's  Genesis  of  the  Av7c  England  Churches,  New  York, 
1874,  pp.  264-8. 

B.  The  Brief  Notes  of  Explanation,  1618 

These  supplementary  definitions  are  preserved  for  us  by  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym. 
Plantation,  pp.  34,  35.  They  were  copied  from  Bradford's  manuscript  by  Nathaniel 
Morton  into  the  records  of  the  Plymouth  Church,  and  may  be  found  in  Hazard,  His- 
torical Collections,  Philadelphia,  1792,  1794,  I:  364,365;  and  in  Young,  Chroni- 
cles of  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  pp.  64,  65,  from  that  source.  They  are  discussed  by 
Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  N.  E.  Chs.,  pp.  267-269,  and  are  given  by  Waddington. 

C.  The  Mayflower  Compact,  1620 

Texts  and  Reprints.  —  Since  the  original  rnanuscript  is  not  known  to  be  extant, 
we  are  dependent  upon  copies  for  our  knowledge  of  this  important  document.  Of 
these  there  are  three  which  may  claim  about  equal  rank  as  original  sources  and  are  in 
substantial  harmony. 

I.  In  G.  Mourt's  (/.  e.  George  Morton's')  A  Relation  or  lournall  of  the  begin- 
ning and  proceedings  of  the  English  Plantation  settled  at  Plimoth,  etc.,  London, 
1622,  p.  3.  Reprinted  (among  others)  by  Young,  Chronicles  of  the  Pilgrim 
Fathers,  Boston,  1 841-4,  p.  121  ;  Geo.  B.  Cheever  in  partial  fac-simile,  New  York, 
1848,  pp.  30,  31:  Dr.  Dexter,  with  introduction  and  notes,  and  in  fac-simile,  Boston, 
1865,  pages  6,  7. 


'  Ue.xter's  reprint,  introduction,  xviii-xxxi.     This  portion  of  the  Relation  was  probably  by 
Bradford.  (  8  I   ) 


S2  THE   MAYFLOWER    CHURCH 

n.  In  Gov.  Bradford's  History  of  Plymouth  Plantation,  long  in  manuscript. 
The  compact  was  printed  from  this  manuscript  by  Thomas  Prince,  A  Chronological 
History  of  Neiij  England,  etc.,  Boston,  1736,  I  :  84,  85.  Gov.  Hutchinson  again 
printed  it,  either  from  the  manuscript  or  from  Prince,  in  TJu  History  of  the  Province 
of  Mass.  Bay,  Boston,  1767,  H.  Appendix  455,  456.'  It  may  now  be  found  also 
in  the  careful  edition  of  Bradford's  whole  work  issued  by  the  Mass.  Hist.  Society, 
History  of  Plymouth  Plantation,  etc.,  Boston,  1856,  pp.  89,  90. 

III.  In  Nathaniel  Morton's  (son  of  George)  A'e'co  England's  Memoriall,  etc., 
Cambridge,  N.  E.,  1669,  p.  15.  (Fifth^  edition,  John  Davis,  Boston,  1826,  pp.  37,  38  ; 
Sixth,  Boston,  1855,  pp.  24-26).  It  was  reprinted  from  Morton  by  Neal,  History 
of  Neiu  England,  etc.,  London,  1720,  I  :  81,  82 ;3  and  by  Hazard,  Historical  Col- 
lections, eic,  Philadelphia,  1792,  1794,  I:  119.  Morton,  as  keeper  of  the  public 
records  of  the  Colony  from  1645  to  1685,  may  well  have  had  access  to  the  original 
document.     He  alone  gives  the  list  of  signatures. 

Reprints  of  one  or  other  of  these  forms,  in  addition  to  those  already  pointed  out, 
are  numerous.     The  following  may  perhaps  be  cited  : 

1.  J.  Belknap,  American  Biography,  Boston,  1794-8,  II  :  190. 

2.  Baylies,  Historical  Memoir  of  the  Colony  of  N'ew  Plymouth,  Drake's  ed. 
Boston,  1866,  p.  28. 

3.  Hanbury,  Alemorials,  I  :   398. 

4.  Elliott,  New  England  History,  New  York,  1857,  I  :   102. 

5.  Uhden,  New  England  Theocracy,  Conant's  translation,  Boston,  1858,  p.  57. 

6.  Palfrey,  History  of  Neiv  England,  Boston,  1859,  I  :  165. 

7.  Tunchard,  History  of  Congregatiofialism,  111 :  411. 

8.  Waddington,  Congregational  History,  1567-1700,  p.  222. 

9.  Bancroft,  History  of  the  United  States,  ed.  Boston,  1876,  I  :  243. 

10.  ^Vindsor,  Narrative  and  Critical  History  of  America,  Boston,  1884,  III: 
269. 

11.  Goodwin,   The  Pilgrim  Republic,  Boston,  1888,  p.  63. 

12.  Thwaites,   The  Colonies,  1492-1750,  New  York,  1S91,  p.  118. 

13.  Fisher,   The  Colonial  Era,  New  York,  1S92,  p.  93. 

THE  documents  thus  far  considered  have  been  the  product  of 
the  London-Amsterdam  church  ;  the  one  now  presented  had 
for  its  source  the  Scrooby-Leyden-Plymouth  company.  Obscure 
as  is  the  origin  of  the  London  church,  the  beginnings  of  the  Scrooby 
congregation  are  yet  more  involved  in  darkness.  But  it  seems  cer- 
tain that  a  Separatist  congregation  was  gathered  by  the  afterwards 
celebrated  John  Smyth,  probably  about  1602,  at  Gainsborough,  a 
town  some  forty  miles  southeast  of  York  and  nearly  half  way  be- 
tween York  and  Boston.     This  church  attracted  members  from  the 


1  Carelessly — three  misreadings. 

2  Possibly  sixth,  see  Dexter,   Cong,  as  seen,  Bibl.  ig 

3  With  one  transposition  in  the  dating  clause. 


ORIGIN    OF   THE   CHURCH  83 

adjacent  parts  of  Nottinghamshire,  Lincohishire,  and  Yorkshire.' 
Hither  came,  not  far  from  1604,  John  Robinson,  from  his  studies  at 
Cambridge  and  several  years  of  labor  near  Norwich,  where  his  Con- 
gregational sentiments  had  attracted  the  unfavorable  notice  of  his 
ecclesiastical  superiors.  But  Gainsborough  was  distant  from  the 
residences  of  a  number  of  the  congregation,  and,  being  a  town  of 
some  size,  the  church  was  likely  to  bring  down  governmental  cen- 
sure, and,  therefore,  in  1605  or  more  probably  1606,  a  portion  of  the 
Gainsborough  church  organized  separately  and  met  statedly  at  the 
house  of  William  Brewster,  the  postmaster  at  Scrooby,  a  station 
on  the  main  road  between  London  and  Berwick,  about  ten  miles 
from  Gainsborough.  In  1606  also  the  congregation  remaining  at 
Gainsborough  removed,  together  with  Smyth,  to  Amsterdam,  where 
they  united  with  and  turmoiled  the  London-Amsterdam  church  for 
a  time.  Probably  the  Scrooby  company  now  further  perfected  its 
organization,  if  it  had  not  already  done  so,  by  the  choice  as  officers 
of  Richard  Clyfton  and  John  Robinson."  But  this  church,  too, 
soon  found  England  a  hard  place  in  which  to  worship  God  after 
the  Congregational  fashion,  and  through  much  difficulty  they, 
therefore,  made  their  way  to  Amsterdam  in  1607  and  1608.  Here 
the  major  part  of  the  church  soon  came  to  look  with  concern  on 
the  havoc  which  the  well-meaning  but  unstable  Smyth  had  already 
wrought  in  the  always  contentious  London-Amsterdam  church  ; 
and  so,  fearing  lest  their  own  brotherhood  be  drawn  into  like  con- 
fusion, they  emigrated  in   1609  to  Leyden.     Clyfton  preferring  to 


'  It  seems  not  impossible  that  Bradford  has  given  us  the  form,  as  well  as  the  substance,  of  the 
covenant  of  this  church.  He  tells  us  (Hist.  Plym.  Plant. ^  9.)  "  They  shooke  of  thisyoake  of  anti- 
christian  bondage,  and  as  y^  Lords  free  people,  joyned  them  selves  (by  a  covenant  of  the  Lord) 
into  a  church  estate,  in  y«  felowship  of  y»  gospell,  to  7ualke  in  ail  his  'luayes,  made  known,  or 
to  be  made  knomn  unto  them,  according  to  their  best  endeaours,  whatsoever  it  should  cost 
them.,  the  Lord  assisting  them.''''  [The  italics  are  mine.]  It  is  true  that  Bradford  wrote  at  least 
a  quarter  of  a  century  after  the  events  he  here  describes,  and  therefore  absolute  identity  is  hardly  to 
be  affirmed.  But  the  tone  and  form  of  this  sentence-long  covenant  is  very  like  that  which  we  shall 
see  used  at  Salem  in  1629  and  Boston-Charlestown  in  1630,  and  some  others  which  will  be  cited  in 
connection  with  them. 

2  Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  N.  E.  Chs.,  pp.  207,  230,  231,  says  that  Clyfton  was  pastorand  Robin- 
son teacher  at  Scrooby.  The  greater  age  and  long  pastoral  experience  of  Clyfton  would  make  his 
choice  as  pastor  of  the  new  church  probable  ;  but  it  seems  to  me  that  the  records  do  not  warrant  us 
in  asserting  positively  that  he  held  this  office  rather  than  that  of  teacher.  Bradford  is  obscure.  See 
his  Hist.  Plym.  Platti.,  pp.  10,  16,  17. 


84        ^  THE   MAYFLOWER   CHURCH 

remain  at  Amsterdam,  Robinson'  was  now  chosen  to  the  pastorate, 
if  not  already  in  that  ofifice,  and  probably  for  want  of  a  suitable 
candidate  in  the  little  company,  the  teachership  was  left  vacant.^ 
The  post  of  elder  was  now  worthily  filled^  by  the  selection  of  Wil- 
liam Brewster."     Here  at  Leyden  all  the  company  were  to  remain 


I  John  Robinson,  the  most  celebrated  member  of  the  Leyden  company,  was  born  in  1575  or  '76, 
probably  in  the  neighborhood  of  Gainsborough,  where  we  have  seen  Smyth  gathering  a  Separatist 
church  at  a  later  period.  In  1592  he  entered  Corpus  Christi  College  in  the  great  Puritan  univer- 
sity of  Cambridge,  and  here  rose  in  1598-9  to  the  dignity  of  Fellow.  About  1600,  it  would  appear, 
he  went  to  the  vicinity  of  Norwich,  or  to  that  city  itself,  and  entered  on  religious  work,  probably  as  a 
curate.  But  here  his  Separatist  views  became  so  pronounced  that,  about  1604,  he  appears  to  have 
incurred  censure  from  his  bishop  and  to  have  left  Norwich  for  the  region  of  Gainsborough,  where  we 
have  seen  him  joining  himself  to  the  Separatist  church.  His  election  as  pastor  of  the  Scrooby-Ley- 
den  body  has  already  been  noticed.  At  Leyden  he  made  his  home  to  the  end  of  his  days.  Here, 
with  others,  he  purchased  a  considerable  property,  more  for  the  use  of  the  church  than  his  own 
comfort ;  and  here  he  not  only  ministered  to  his  flock,  but  enjoyed  the  privileges  of  the  University 
and  participated  in  the  controversies  aroused  by  the  followers  of  Arminius,  taking  the  Calvinistic 
side  with  much  earnestness.  Here,  too,  he  ministered  to  those  of  his  congregation  who  did  not  cross 
the  ocean,  till  his  death  in  March,  1625  ;  and  here  he  was  buried  in  lowly  fashion  indicative  of  a  con- 
siderable degree  of  poverty  ;  but  with  evidence  of  public  estimate  of  his  real  worth  on  the  part  of  the 
Dutch  community.  His  numerous  works  are  written  in  a  sweet-tempered  spirit,  but  are  far  from 
presenting  the  inclination  toward  so-called  progressive  thought  in  doctrinal  matters,  which  has 
often  been  attributed  to  him.  In  regard  to  ih& polity  of  the  church  he  looked  upon  change  as  not 
impossible  in  consequence  of  further  study  of  God's  word.  Among  the  many  sources  of  informa- 
tion regarding  his  life  and  labors  I  may  cite  J.  Belknap,  American  Biography^  Boston,  1794-98,  II  : 
151-178  ;  Brook,  Lives  0/  the  Puritans^  II  :  334-44  :  Hanbury,  Memorials,  I  :  185-463,  passim 
(with  much  reference  to  his  writings);  Hunter,  Collections  Concerning  the  Church  .  .  . 
/brmcd  at  Scrooiy,  'London,  1854,  pp.  90-gg  ;  Fletcher,  ///j/^rj'  .  .  .  0/ hidependency  in 
England,  London,  1862,  II :  249-III :  So,passim  /  Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  III : 
300-344  (a  summary  of  his  writings);  Bacon,  Gettesis  of  the  N.  E.  Chs.,  passim;  Dexter,  Cong,  as 
seen,  359-410.  Dexter's  Bibliography  gives  the  titles  of  eleven  separate  writings  of  which  Robin- 
son is  the  author  ;  ten  of  which  may  be  found  in  R.  Ashton's  Works  of  John  Robinson,  etc.,  3 
vols.,  London,  1851.  A  somewhat  extended  memoir,  by  the  editor,  may  be  found  in  the  Works,  I  : 
xi-lxxiv.,  and  is  reprinted  in  4  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,   I  :   111-164. 

^  Bacon,  Genesis,  p.  232,  makes  this  suggestion. 

3  That  this  event  did  not  occur  till  the  company  reached  Leyden  is  implied  by  Gov.  Bradford, 
History  of  Plymouth  Plantation,  pp.  10,  17. 

■•  William  Brewster,  in  whose  house  at  Scrooby  the  church  had  gathered  after  its  separation 
from  the  Gainsborough  body,  was  one  of  the  most  eminent  of  the  company  in  station  and  influence. 
His  birthplace  is  uncertain,  but  was  not  improbably  in  the  vicinity  of  Scrooby,  and  his  life  began 
some  time  between  1560  and  1564.  He  studied  Latin  so  as  to  have  a  ready  use  of  the  language,  had 
some  knowledge  of  Greek,  and  was  for  a  brief  and  uncertain  period  at  the  University  of  Cam- 
bridge. We  next  find  him  in  the  service  of  the  Puritan,  William  Davison,  Ambassador  and  Secre- 
tary of  State  to  Queen  Elizabeth.  With  Davison,  Brewster  went  on  a  mission  to  Holland  in  1585, 
and  doubtless  may  have  cherished  hopes  of  political  advancement  till  the  Queen  dismissed  Davison 
in  disgrace,  in  1587,  as  having  been  too  zealous  in  procuring  the  execution  of  Mary,  Queen  of  Scots. 
Thrown  thus  out  of  employment,  Brewster  went  to  Scrooby,  and  there  succeeded  his  father  as 
postmaster  about  the  beginning  of  1589.  (His  father,  also  named  William  Brewster,  survived  till 
the  summer  of  1590.)  His  office  implied  the  furnishing  of  lodging  and  transport  for  government 
servants,  as  well  as  the  forwarding  of  letters.  In  discharge  of  his  duties  he  occupied  a  large 
"  manor  house,"  belonging  to  the  Archbishop  of  York  for  centuries,  and  which,  though  in  bad  re- 
pair, gave  ample  room  for  the  gathering  of  the  Separatist  church.  He  held  office  till  Sept.,  1607, 
just  previous  to  his  attempt  to  leave  England  for  Holland  in  company  with  his  brethren  of  the 
church.  Settled  at  last  in  Leyden,  he  supported  himself  by  teaching  and  printing.  Here  he  was 
elected  ruling  elder,  and  when  a  portion  of  the  church  emigrated  to  Plymouth  in  1620,  he  was  the 
spiritual  leader  of  the  expedition.     As  the  Plymouth  company  looked  upon  themselves  as  in  a  de- 


ITS    LIFE   AT    LEVDEN  85 

for  eleven  years  and  many  for  the  remainder  of  their  earthly  lives. 
But,  though  settled  in  one  of  the  most  attractive  cities  of  Europe, 
their  life  was  hard  and  their  circumstances  uncongenial.  As 
Englishmen  they  longed  to  be  under  English  law.  They  would 
gladly  live  on  English  soil  could  they  find  a  spot  where  they  might 
worship  God  and  train  up  their  children  in  the  institutions  of  the 
Gospel.  Probably  their  type  of  Separatism  was  not  so  uncompro- 
mising as  that  of  the  London-Amsterdam  Church,  and  certainly  we 
have  much  evidence  that  the  opposition  of  their  pastor,  Robinson, 
as  he  advanced  in  years,  was  more  against  the  ceremonies  of  the 
Church  of  England  than  the  doctrine  of  royal  supremacy.'  They 
were  anxious  to  go  to  America,  and  they  were  desirous  of  going  as 
Englishmen  and  under  an  English  charter.  And  so  it  happened  that 
when  they  applied  to  the  London-Virginia  company,  in  161 7,  for  per- 
mission to  settle  somewhere  on  the  wide  stretch  of  American  coast 
then  known  by  the  name  of  Virginia,  the  agents  of  the  church.  Dea- 
con John  Carver  and  Robert  Cushman,  carried  with  them  to  London 
the  seven  articles  of  belief  which  are  here  presented,  designing 
them  to  serve  as  an  assurance  to  the  company  or  the  king  should 
doubt  be  cast  upon  their  orthodoxy  or  loyalty.  Of  course,  under 
such  circumstances,  the  points  of  difference  between  them  and  the 
Church  of  England  would  be  minimized.    Yet  that  these  differences 

gree  still  part  of  the  Leyden  body  and,  while  competent  to  act  for  themselves,  as  still  under  Robin- 
son's pastorate,  Brewster,  though  retaining  the  title  of  ruling  elder,  was  practically  the  pastor 
of  the  Plymouth  church  in  all  save  the  administration  of  the  sacraments  for  the  ten  years  or  there- 
about which  elapsed  between  the  landing  in  1620  and  the  beginning  of  the  pastorate  of  Ralph  Smith. 
Here  he  was  noted  as  a  vigorous  and  effective  preacher  and  as  possessed  of  much  gift  in  prayer. 
He  died  in  April,  1643  or  1644.  His  friend  Bradford,  and  Morton  in  his  JA'Wor/a//,  give  the  former 
date  ;  the  Plymouth  church  records,  from  the  hand  of  Morton,  give  the  latter.  His  memory  is  that 
of  a  strong,  earnest,  spiritual-minded  man.  The  facts  of  his  life  may  be  found  in  Bradford,  History 
of  Plymouth  Plantation,  passim,  especially  the  biographical  sketch  on  pp.  408-14.  This  memoir 
is  also  printed  in  Young's  Chronicles  0/  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  pp.  461-69,  and  in  substance  from 
the  Plymouth  Ch.  records  by  Davis  in  his  edition  of  Morton's  Memorial  (1826),  222-224.  Belknap, 
American  Biography,  \l:  ■2S'2-i66,  has  a.  sketch.  Hunter,  Collections  coticerning the  Ch.  .  .  . 
formed  at  Scrooby,  etc.,  (1854,)  53-9O1  has  many  valuable  facts.  A  life  of  Brewster  was  published 
by  A.  Steele,  Chief  of  the  Pilgrims,  etc.,  Philadelphia,  1857.  Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  N.  E.  Chs., 
passim.  T.  F.  Henderson  in  Diet.  National  Biography,  (1886,)  vi :  304,  305.  Deane  has  pub- 
lished a  letter  of  Stanhope  to  Davison,  of  Aug.  22,  1590,  throwing  light  upon  the  time  when  Brad- 
ford became  postmaster.     Proc.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  May  1871,  98-103. 

1  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  392-397,  notes  and  illustrates  his  gradual  change  from  extreme 
Separatism  to  a  position  not  far  from  that  of  the  Puritans,  a  position  which  held  that  the  English 
Church  was  unchristian  in  ceremonies  and  constitution,  but  not  in  a  condition  where  reform  was 
hopeless  or  Christian  life  within  its  fold  impossible.  This  view  seems  to  prevail  in  Robinson's, 
Ivst  and  Necessarie  Apologie,  1625,  Works,  III:  5-79-  See  also  Cotton's  testimony,  Way  of 
Cong.  Churches  Cleared,  London,  1648,  Pt.  I :  pp.  8,  9. 


86  THE   MAYFLOWER   CHURCH 

should  be  ignored  to  such  a  degree,  and  that  Robinson  and  Brew- 
ster should  be  willing  to  sign  the  document,  seems  little  less  than 
amazing.  At  the  first  glance  it  seems  the  surrender  of  much  for 
which  they  witnessed  and  suffered  ;  and  further  examination  but 
confirms  this  opinion.  But  we  shall  do  injustice  to  men  in  a  very 
difficult  position  should  we  deem  it  a  complete  surrender.  Robin- 
son and  Brewster  were  willing  to  accept  a  substantially  Erastian 
theory  of  the  relations  of  church  and  sovereign.  They  w-ere  will- 
ing to  admit  that  there  is  no  "  apeale  from  his  authority  or  judg- 
ment in  any  cause  whatsoever,  but  y  in  all  thinges  obedience  is 
dewe  unto  him,"  at  least  passive  obedience,  even  when  his  com- 
mands are  contrary  to  God's  word.  The  '  king's  right  to  appoint 
bishops,  or  other  officers,  and  endow  them  with  civil  authority  to 
rule  the  churches  "  civilly  according  to  y^  Lawes  of  y*  Land  "  was 
fully  admitted.  But  they  nowhere  acknowledged  or  implied  that 
the  officers  of  the  Church  of  England  have  any  divine  warrant  or 
spirituat  authority.  They  said,  in  effect,  that  the  bishops  and  other 
clergy  are  magistrates,  like  the  justices  or  sheriffs,  whom  the  king 
as  absolute  civil  ruler  has  a  legal  right  to  appoint,  and  to  whom 
the  laws  give  certain  powers.  The  Separatists  of  Leyden  were  not 
rebels,  and  even  if  they  disliked  the  system  they  would  not  oppose 
the  undoubted  royal  right.  Yet  as  to  the  spiritual  character  or 
powers  of  these  persons  they  would  maintain  their  own  opinions. 
They  wished  peace  with  the  king  and  the  realm,  and  to  secure  it, 
while  not  willing  to  unite  with  the  Established  Church,  they  were 
willing  to  show  respect  to  the  constituted  officers  of  that  Church  so 
far  as  they  represent  the  royal  authority."  That  it  was  by  no 
means  regarded  by  the  English  authorities  in  church  and  state  as  a 
submission  to  the  Church  by  law  established  is  shown  by  the  fact 
that  though  many  of  the  Virginia  company  found  the  articles  satis- 
factory. King  James,  and  Abbot,  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
opposed  the  request  for  a  charter.^      In   hope,  therefore,  that  a 


1  This  duty  of  obedience  or  at  least  passive  submission  to  the  will  of  the  magistrate  is  further 
set  forth  by  Robinson,  Ii'st  and  Necessarie  Apologie,  Works^  III :  62,  63. 

*  As  illustrative  of  this  interpretation  compare  Robinson  Iz'st  and  Necessary  Apologic^  (1625,) 
Works,  III:  69-71. 

3  Compare  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant,  pp.  29-41. 


CHARACTER   OF   THE   SEVEN   ARTICLES  8/ 

further  explanation  would  accomplish  the  desired  result,  Robin- 
son and  Brewster  sent,  in  January,  1618,  two  notes  to  Sir  John 
Wolstenholme,  a  member  of  the  Virginia  company  whom  they  had 
reason  to  think  was  favorably  disposed  toward  their  ente-rprise. 
These  notes  were  designed  to  define  the  beliefs  of  the  Leyden 
church  more  clearly,  and  were  alternate  forms  to  be  laid  before  the 
Privy  Council  as  Sir  John  should  deem  best.'  As  of  value  in  show- 
ing the  position  of  the  Leyden  church  at  this  period,  they  will  be 
found  appended  to  the  Seven  Articles.  In  spite  of  all  explanations, 
however,  the  utmost  that  the  church  could  obtain  was  an  unre- 
corded promise  that  if  its  members  behaved  themselves  peaceably 
the  king  would  overlook  their  doings,  and  a  patent  from  the  Vir- 
ginia company  granting  to  one  of  their  friends  in  England  (of 
course  in  intention  as  their  representative)  some  lands  supposed  to 
lie  not  far  from  the  Hudson  river  ;  -  a  document  which,  as  the 
event  proved,  was  never  to  be  used. 

But  though  the  end  of  their  preparation  of  creeds  for  submis- 
sion to  the  English  authorities  had  come,  their  difificulties  in 
going  to  America  were  by  no  means  over,  and  it  was  not  till 
after  further  tedious  negotiation,  into  the  details  of  which  it 
would  be  aside  from  our  purpose  to  enter,  that  somewhat  less 
than  half  the  church,  under  the  spiritual  guidance  of  Brewster, 
got  away  at  last  from  Leyden,  in  July,  1620,  leaving  the  remainder 
under  Robinson  to  keep  a  place  for  their  return  should  the  adven- 
ture fail,  or  follow  them  in  case  of  success,  as  opportunity  would 
permit.  Never  did  an  enterprise  start  more  unpropitiously.  It 
was  only  after  numberless  hindrances  in  England,  and  two  un- 
successful attempts  to  sail  from  that  island,  that  the  more  steadfast 
members  of  the  little  company  were  able  to  get  off  in  their  single 
ship  from  the  English  Plymouth,  September  6,  (O.  S.)  1620.  On 
November  9,  they  were  in  sight  of  Cape  Cod,  and  on  November  11, 
having  been  compelled  to  abandon  the  attempt  to  reach  the  neigh- 
borhood of  the  Hudson,  they  came  to  anchor  in  Provincetown  Har- 
bor.    Here   it  was,  on  this  eleventh  of  November,  that  the  little 


'  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  33-36. 

2  Ibid.,  pp.  40-41.     This  charter,  granted  to  a  John  Wincob,  probably  a  Puritan  minister  in 
the  service  of  the  Countess  of  Lincoln,  was    early  lost  and  its  exact  provisions  are  unknown. 


88  THE    MAYFLOWER   CHURCH 

company  combined  themselves  into  a  civil  body  politic.     They  were 

in  a  region  belonging  nominally  indeed  to  the  English  crown,  but 

they  were  outside  the  limits  of  their  patent,  for  though  we  do  not 

know  the  terms  of  that  document,  we  know  that  the  London-Virginia 

company  had  no  jurisdiction  north  of  41°.'     Then,  too,  there  were 

others  beside  the  Leyden  Separatists  on  the  ship,  whose  loyalty  to 

the  purposes  of  the  colony  was  dubious,  and  the  organized  force 

of  the  community  might  be  needed  to  hold  them  in  check.     Gov. 

Bradford  thus  explains  the  circumstances: '^ 

"I  shall  a  litle  returne  backe  and  begine  with  a  combination  made  by  them 
before  they  came  ashore,  being  y*  first  foundation  of  their  govermente  in  this 
place ;  occasioned  partly  by  y"  discontented  &  mutinous  speeches  that  some  of 
the  strangers  amongst  them  had  let  fall  from  them  in  y"  ship  —  That  when  they 
came  a  shore  they  would  use  their  owne  libertie  ;  for  none  had  power  to  comand 
them,  the  patente  they  had  being  for  Virginia,  and  not  for  Newengland,  which 
belonged  to  an  other  Goverment,  with  which  y*'  Virginia  Company  had  nothing 
to  doe.  And  partly  that  shuch  an  acta  by  them  done  (this  their  condition  consid- 
ered) might  be  as  firme  as  any  patent,  and  in  some  respects  more  sure." 

It   is  more  than  possible,  also,  that  such  a  combination  had 

been  planned  even  before  the  expedition  left  Leyden.     A  letter 

of  Robinson  has  been  preserved,  written  to  the  company  just  after 

they  had  left  Holland,  in  the  summer  of  1620,  in  which  he  warns 

them  : 

"  Your  intended  course  of  ciuill  communitie  wil  minister  continuall  occasion  of 
offence,  and  will  be  as  fuell  for  that  fire,  except  you  diligently  quench  it  with 
brotherly  forbearance." 

And,  a  little  later  adds  the  exhortation  : 

"  Lastly,  whereas  you  are  to  become  a  body  politik,  vsing  amongst  your  selues 
ciuill  gouernment,  and  are  not  furnished  with  any  persons  of  speciall  eminencie 
aboue  the  rest,  to  be  chosen  by  you  into  office  of  gouernment  :  Let  your  wisedome 
and  godlinesse  appeare,  not  onely  in  chusing  such  persons  as  do  entirely  loue,  and 
will  diligently  promote  the  common  good,  but  also  in  yeelding  vnto  them  all  due 
honour  and  obedience  in  their  lawfull  administrations.^ 


1  The  forty-first  degree  of  latitude  falls  a  little  north  of  New  York  city. 

2  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant,  p.  89. 

3  I  quote  from  Mourt's  Relation,  pp.  x,  xi  (Dr.  Dexter's  edition  xliv-xlvi).  A  note  of 
Dr.  Dexter  puts  this  interpretation  on  the  passages.  The  letter  may  also  be  found  in  Brad- 
ford, Hist.  Plym.  Plant,  pp.  64-67  ;  Morton's  Memoriall,  pp.  6-9  (Davis  ed.  pp.  25-29)  ;  Hazard's 
Historical  Collections,  I  :  96-99  ;  Hanbury,  Memorials,  I  :  394-396.  I  am  aware  that  Bradford 
omits  the  important  word  to  in  the  clause  hegmnmg  Lastly,  -whereas;  and  that  Robinson  may 
therefore  be  made  to  mean  simply  that  they  are  now  under  the  Virginia  patent ;  but  he  seems  to 
me  to  mean  more  than  that,  when  both  passages  are  considered. 


THE    MAYFLOWER   COMPACT  89 

The  Mayflower  Compact  is  in  no  sense  a  creed  or  a  religious 
covenant  ;  but  it  is  none  the  less  the  direct  fruit  of  the  teachings 
of  Congregationalism.  That  system  recognized  as  the  constitu- 
tive act  of  a  church  a  covenant  individually  entered  into  between 
each  member,  his  brethren,  and  his  God,  pledging  him  to  submit 
himself  to  all  due  ordinances  and  officers  and  seek  the  good 
of  all  his  associates.  In  like  manner  this  compact  bound  its 
signers  to  promote  the  general  good  and  to  yield  obedience  to 
such  laws  as  the  community  should  frame.  The  Separatist  Pilgrims 
on  the  Mayflower  constituted  a  state  by  individual  and  mutual 
covenant,  just  as  they  had  learned  to  constitute  a  church  ;  and 
therefore  the  Mayflower  Compact  deserves  a  place  among  the 
creeds  and  covenants  of  Congregationalism.' 

The  Seven  Articles^ 

Seven  Artikes  which  y^  Church  of  Leyden  sent  to  y^  Counsell 
of  England  to  bee  considered  of  in  respeckt  of  their  judgments 
occationed  about  theer  going  to  Virginia  Anno  161 S. 

1.  To  y* confession  of  fayth  published  in  y^  name  of  y^  Church 
of  England '  &  to  every  artikell  theerof  wee  do  w"*  y^  reformed 
churches  wheer  wee  live  &  also  els  where  assent  wholy. 

2.  As  wee  do  acknolidg  y^  docktryne  of  fayth  theer  tawght  so 
do  wee  y*  fruites  and  effeckts  of  y*  same  docktryne  to  y^  begetting  of 
saving  fayth  in  thousands  in  y"  land  (conformistes  «Sc  reformistes) 
as  y^  ar  called  w"*  whom   also  as  w"'  our  bretheren  wee  do  desyer 


'  The  literature  having  to  do  with  the  history  of  the  Scrooby-Leyden  Plymouth  church  is 
very  voluminous ;  but  the  following  readily  accessible  works  will  either  put  the  student  in  posses- 
sion of  about  all  the  facts  or  show  him  where  they  may  be  obtained.  Sources.  Bradford,  History 
of  Plymouth  Plantation  :  IMourt's  Relation:  Voung's  Chro7iiclcs  of  the  Pilgrim  P'athos  (Boston, 
1841-4)  ;  Morton's  Mcmoriall  (for  these  works  see  ante  p.  81) ;  Dexter,  English  Exiles  in  Avtster- 
daiit,  in  2  Proc.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  VI:  41  (June,  1890).  Liter.^ture.  a.  Formation  of  the  church  and 
sojourn  in  Holland.  Geo.  Sumner,  Memoirs  of  the  Pilgrims  at  Leyden,  in  3  Coll.  Mass.  Hist. 
v9<7f.,  IX:  42-74 ;  W.  H.  Bartlett,  The  Pilgrim  Fathers,  London,  1853  (especially  valuable  for  its 
beautiful  engravings  of  the  scenes  associated  with  the  Pilgrims)  ;  Hunter,  Collcctio7ts  concerning 
the  Church  .  .  .  formed  at  Scrooby,  London,  1854  ;  Dexter,  Recent  Discoveries  concerning 
the  Plymouth  Pilgrims,  in  Cong.  Quarterly,  IV  :  58-66,  (Jan.  1862)  ;  Ibid.,  Letter,  in  /  Proc. 
Mass.  Hist.  Soc.,  XII  :  184-186  (Jan.  1872)  ;  Ibid.,  Cong,  as  seen,  316,  317,  3S9-410;  Ibid.,  The  Pil- 
grims of  Leyden,  in  the  AVw  England  Magazine,  I  :  49-61  (Sept.  1889.  This  number  is  filled 
with  interesting  sketches  of  Scrooby  and  Plymouth),  b.  General  accounts  of  the  origin  of  the 
church  and  settlement  of  the  colony.  Palfrey,  Hist.  New  England,  1 :  133-231  ;  Punchard,  Hist. 
Congregationalism,  III  :  277-434;  Bacon,  Genesis  of  the  N.  E.  Churches,  pp.  199  et  scqq  ;  Prof. 
F.  B.  Dexter,  in  Winsor's  Narrative  and  Crit.  Hist.,  Ill:  257-294;  Goodwin,  The  Pilgrim 
Republic,  Boston,  1888  (a  valuable  treasure-house  of  facts  regarding  Plymouth  colony). 

2  Text  from  Bancroft.  ^i.g.,  the  XXXIX  Articles. 


go  THE    MAYFLOWER   CHURCH 

to  keepe   sperituall  communion  in  peace  and  will  pracktis  in  our 
parts  all  lawfull  thinges. 

3.  The  King's  Majesty  wee  acknolidg  for  Supreame  Governer 
in  his  Dominion  in  all  causes  and  over  all  parsons,'  and  y  '  none 
maye  decklyne  or  apeale  from  his  authority  or  judgment  in  any 
cause  whatsoever,  but  y  in  all  thinges  obedience  is  dewe  unto  him, 
ether  active,  if  y*  thing  commanded  be  not  agaynst  God's  woord, 
or  passive  yf  itt  bee,  except  pardon  can  bee  obtayned.' 

4.  Wee  judg  itt  lawfull  for  his  Majesty  to  apoynt  bishops,  civill 
overseers,  or  officers  in  awthoryty  onder  hime,  in  y^  severall  prov- 
inces, dioses,  congregations  or  parrishes  to  oversee  y^  Churches  * 
and  governe  them  civilly  according  to  y*  Lawes  of  y^  Land,  untto 
whom  y^ '  ar  in  all  thinges  to  geve  an  account  &  by  them  to  bee 
ordered  according  to  Godlynes. 

5.  The  authoryty  of  y'  present  bishops  in  y'^  Land  wee  do  ac- 
knolidg so  far  forth  as  y^  same  is  indeed  derived  from  his  Majesty 
untto  them  and  as  y'  proseed  in  his  name,  whom  wee  will  also 
theerein  honor  in  all  things  and  hime  in  them/ 

6.  Wee  beleeve  y'  no  sinod,  classes,  convocation  or  assembly 
of  Ecclesiasticall  Officers  hath  any  power  or  awthoryty  att  all  but 
as  y^  same  by  y^  Majestraet  geven  unto  them.' 

7.  Lastly,  wee  desyer  to  geve  untto  all  Superiors  dew  honnor 

to  preserve  y*  unity  of  y*  speritt  w'^  all  y  feare  God,  to  have  peace 

w"*  all  men  what  in  us  lyeth  &  wheerein  wee  err  to  bee  instructed 

by  any. 

Subscribed  by 

John  Robinson, 

and 

AViLLYAM    BrUSTER. 

The  Notes  of  Explanation  ' 
T/ie  first  breefe  7iofc  was  tJiis. 
Touching  y^  Ecclesiasticall  ministrie,  namly  of  pastores   for 
teaching,  elders  for  ruling,  &  deacons  for  distributing  y^  churches 


I  Persons.  ^  /.  e.,  that,  and  so  elsewhere. 

3  The  article  does  not  mean  that  the  signers  are  willing  to  do  all  that  the  king  commands. 
But  they  promise  that  if  the  action  required  is  so  contrary  to  the  law  of  God  that  they  cannot  per- 
form it,  they  will  peacefully  submit  to  the  penalties  for  its  omission,  making  no  resistance  to  the 
ordinary  course  of  the  law  other  than  a  proper  effort  to  obtain  a  pardon. 

*  Observe  the  plural  form.  ^    /.  t'.,  the  churches. 

8  Notice  the  care  with  which  this  article  avoids  ascribing  any  spiritual  authority  to  the  clergy 
of  the  Establishment. 

1  This  article  is  designed  to  be  a  denial  of  Presbyterianism. 

8  Text  from  Bradford's  History  Plym.  riant. 


TEXT   OF   THE   ARTICLES  9I 

contribution,  as  allso  for  y*  too  Sacrements,  baptisme,  and  y*  Lords 
supper,  we  doe  wholy  and  in  all  points  agree  with  y*  French  re- 
formed churches,  according  to  their  publick  confession'  of  faith. 

The  oath  of  Supremacie  we  shall  willingly  take  if  it  be  required 
of  us,  and  that  conveniente  satisfaction  be  not  given  by  our  taking 
y*  oath  of  Alleagence." 

John  Rob: 
William  Brewster. 

V'  2.  icas  this. 
Touching  y^  Ecclesiasticall  ministrie,  &c.  as  in  y*  former,  we 
agree  in  all  things  with  the  French  reformed  churches,  according 
to  their  publick  confession  of  faith;  though  some  small  differences 
be  to  be  found  in  our  practises,  not  at  all  in  y^  substance  of  the 
things,  but  only  in  some  accidentall  circumstances. 

1.  As  first,  their  ministers  doe  pray  with  their  heads  covered; 
ours  uncovered. 

2.  We  chose  none  for  Governing  Elders  but  such  as  are  able 
to  teach;  which  abilitie  they  doe  not  require. 

3.  Their  elders  &  deacons  are  anuall,  or  at  most  for  2.  or  3. 
years;  ours  perpetuall. 

4.  Our  elders  doe  administer  their  ofifice  in  admonitions  &  ex- 
communications for  publick  scandals,  publickly  &  before  y^  congre- 
gation; theirs  more  privately,  &  in  their  consistories. 

5.  We  doe  administer  baptisme  only  to  such  infants  as  wherof 
y*  one  parente,  at  y^  least,  is  of  some  church,  which  some  of  ther 
churches  doe  not  observe;  though  in  it  our  practice  accords  with 
their  publick  confession'  and  y^  judgmente  of  y^  most  larned 
amongst  them. 

Other  differences,  worthy  mentioning,  we  know  none  in  these- 
points.     Then  aboute  y*  oath,  as  in  y^  former." 

Subscribed, 

John  R.  . 
W.  B. 


'  This  confession  may  be  found  in  Schaff's  Creeds  0/  Christendom^  III :  356-382.  See  espe- 
cially Articles  XXIX-XXXVIII. 

9  The  oath  of  Supremacy,  imposed  by  Henry  VIII.  in  1531,  was  reestablished  in  the  first  year 
of  Elizabeth.  The  person  taking  it  swore  "that  the  queen's  highness  is  the  only  supreme  governor 
of  this  realm  ...  as  well  in  all  spiritual  and  ecclesiastical  things  or  causes  as  temporal."  All 
allegiance  to  foreign  powers  or  prelates  is  renounced.  The  oath  of  Allegiance  was  imposed  in  1605 
under  James,  and  implied  complete  submission  to  the  king  as  temporal  sovereign.  See  Young, 
Chron.  0/  the  Pilgrim  Fathers^  p.  64,  note.  The  text  of  the  oath  of  Supremacy  may  be  found  in 
Hallam,  Const  it.  Hist.  England,  Ch.  Ill,  note  (ed.  New  York,  1882,  p.  121). 

3  Article  XXXV  of  French  Confession.     Schaff,  Creeds,  III :  379. 

■•  This  sentence  and  the  opening  clause  of  this  note  are  dbubtless  simply  Bradford's  sum- 
mary of  the  statements  given  in  full  in  the  preceding  note. 


92  THE   MAYFLOWER   CHURCH 

The  Mayflower  Compact  ' 

IN  the  name  of  God,  Amen.  We  whose  names  are  vnderwritten, 
the  loyall  Subiects  of  our  dread  soveraigne  Lord  King  Iames, 
by  the  grace  of  God  of  Great  Britaine,  France^  and  Ireland  King 
Defender  of  the  Faith,  &c. 

Having  vnder-taken  for  the  glory  of  God,  and  advancement 
of  the  Christian  Faith,  and  "^  honour  of  our  King  and  Countrey,  a 
Voyage  to  plant  the  first  Colony  in  the  Northerne  parts  of  Vir- 
ginia, doe  by  these  presents  solemnly  &:  mutually  in  the  presence 
of  God  and  one  of^  another,  covenant,  and  combine  our  selues 
together  into  a  civill  body  politike,  for  our  better  ordering  and 
preservation,  and  furtherance  of  the  ends  aforesaid  ;  and  by 
vertue  hereof  to^  enact,  constitute,  and  frame  such  iust  and  equall 
Lawes,  Ordinances,  acts,  constitutions,"  offices"  from  time  to  time, 
as  shall  be  thought  most  meet  and  convenient  for  the  generall 
good  of  the  Colony  :  vnto  which  we  promise  all  due  submission 
and  obedience.  In  witnesse  whereof  we  haue  here-vnder''  sub- 
scribed our  names, "^  Cape  Cod^  ii.  of  November  in  the  yeare  of'° 
the  raigne  of  our  soveraigne  Lord  King  Iames,  of  England,  France, 
and  Ireland  i8."  and  of  Scotland  54.'^     Amio  Doinifio  1620. 


1  Text  from  Mourt's  Relation.  ^  Morton,  MevtoriaU^  inserts  tJie  after  and. 

2  Morton,  Mevioriall^  omits  of.  *  Morton  reads  do. 

5  Bradford  and  Morton  insert  and.  *  Morton  reads  officers. 

'  Morton  reads  kerennio.  ^  Bradford  and  Morton  insert  ai. 

»  Bradford  and  Morton  insert  t/ie.  '"  Morton  omits  the  yeare  of. 

'1  Bradford  and  Morton  read  the  eighteenth. 

12  Bradford  and  Morton  read  the  ff  tie  fourth. 


VI 

THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF  COVENANT  AND  CREED 
IN    THE    SALEM    CHURCH,    1629-1665 

Texts 

No  record  appears  to  have  been  kept  during  the  first  six  or  seven  years  of  the 
history  of  the  church  at  Salem.  About  1637  a  church-book  was  started,  but  as  it  came 
to  be  in  dilapidated  condition  and  was  filled  with  personal  reflections  of  a  somewhat 
censorious  nature,  it  was  Sequestered  in  1660  ;'  and  its  more  important  portions  copied  in 
that  year,  or  the  year  following,  into  a  new  book,  which  still  exists, —  a  second  and 
older  copy  will  be  described  shortly.  This  record  of  1637  began,  it  is  well-nigh 
certain,  with  the  covenant-  as  renewed  at  the  settlement  of  Hugh  Peter  in  1636.  The 
covenant  of  1629  is  nowhere  separately  preserved  ;  it  exists  embedded  in  the  renewal 
and  enlargement  of  1636.  But,  as  already  noted,  even  the  original  record  of  this  re- 
newal is  lost.  The  renewed  covenant  of  1636  is  preserved  in  the  two  copies,  already 
mentioned,  either  of  which  may  be  considered  as  representative  of  the  original  text, 
and  differing  only  in  slight  verbal  points,  as  follows  : 

A.  It  is  to  be  found  in  a  book  of  excerpts  from  the  original  records  of  the  Salem 
church,  made  by  Rev.  John  Fiske,^  between  1636  and  1641,  while  he  was  ser\-ing  as 
an  occasional  assistant  to  Rev.  Hugh  Peter,  then  pastor  of  the  church.  This  little 
book  was  apparently  a  private  record  of  parochial  affairs.'*  The  covenant  here  con- 
tained is  printed  in  the  Hist.  Coll.  Essex  Institute,  Vol.  I.  No.  2,  pp.  37,  38  (May, 

1859).' 

B.  The  other  copy  is  in  the  revised  church-book  of  1660  or  1661,  prepared  soon 
after  the  settlement  of  John  Higginson.  This  document  is  printed  verbatim  in  the 
Proceedings  of  Essex  Institute,  I  :  262-264  (1856)  ;  by  White,  New  England  Con- 
gregationalism, pp.  13,  14  ;  by  Webber  and  Nevins,  Old  Natimkeag,  Salem,  1877, 
pp.  14-16;  by  Rev.  Edmund  B.  Willson  in  the  History  of  Essex  County,  Mass., 
Philadelphia,  1888,  p.  24  ;  and  in  modern  spelling,  by  Upham,  Address  at  the  Re- 
Dedication  of  the  Fourth  Meeting-House  of  the  First  Church  in  Salem,  Salem,  1S67, 
pp. 63-65. 


J  The  record  of  these  transactions  is  to  be  found  in  White,  Ne-M  England  Congregational- 
ism, Salem,  1861,  pp.  47,  48.     The  first  vote  is  Sept.  10,  1660. 

*  So  to  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  it  begins  the  church-book  copy.  Ibid.,  117. 

s  A  life  of  Rev.  John  Fiske  may  be  found  in  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  I:  476-480; 
Brook,  ZzWj,  III:  468,  469;  Sprague,  Annals  of  the  Am.  Pulpit,  New  York,  1857,  ^'-  '°^>  '°7- 
He  came  to  New  England  in  1637,  lived  in  Salem,  but  soon  moved  to  Wenham,  where  he  became 
pastor  of  the  church  gathered  there  in  1644.  About  1656  he  removed  to  Chelmsford,  and  there  died 
in  1676,  leaving  records  of  great  value  for  New  England  Church  History. 

*  See  some  obser\-ations  by  J.  A.  Emmerton,  in  /list.  Coll.  Essex  Ins.,  XV :  70-72  (1878). 

6  From  the  MS.  note  book,  then  in  the  possession  of  David  Pulsifer,  Esq.,  of  Boston.  Some 
account  of  the  preservation  of  this  book  may  be  found  in  White,  N'.  E.  Cong.,  p.  20. 


(93) 


94  CREED    DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

Other  Printed  Copies 

Beside  the  carefully  printed  texts,  already  noticed,  this  renewal  covenant  of 
1636  early  found  a  place  on  the  pages  of  writers  on  New  England  ecclesiastical 
affairs. 

I.  Rathband,  A  Brief e  N'ar7-ation  of  some  CJiurch  Courses  held  in  Opinion 
and  Practise  in  the  Churches  lately  erected  in  N^eiv  England,  London,  1644,  pp.  17- 
ig.'  From  Rathband  it  was  copied  into  Hanbury,  Memorials,  II :  310.  II.  A  Copy 
of  the  Church  Covenants  -which  have  been  used  in  the  Church  of  Salem,  Boston, 
1680.=     III.   Mather,  Alagnalia,  ed.   1702,  Bk.  I:  Ch.  IV.      Ed,    1853-5,  I:  71. 

IV.  Neal,  History  of  New  England,  London,   1720,   1 :    126-28  (from  Mather). 

V.  Rev.  William  Bentley,  ^  Description  and  History  of  Salem,  in/  Coll.  Mass. 
Hist.  Sot.,  VI  :  283-2S5.  VI.  Morton's  Memoriall,  Davis,  ed.  Boston,  1826,  .-//- 
/t'W/x,  389-90.  VII.  Upham,  Second  Century  Lecture  of  the  First  Church,  ^tA^xh, 
1829,  pp.  67,  68.  VIII.  S.  M.  Worcester,  Discourse  delivered  on  the  First  Centen- 
7iial  .  .  .  of  the  Tabernacle  Church,  Salem,  1835  ;  Appendix  U.'  IX.  Han- 
bury, Memorials,  1 841,  as  cited  under  I.  X.  N.  E.  Historical  and  Genealogical 
Register,  I:  224,  225  (1847).  XI.  Morton's  Memoriall,  ed.  Boston,  1855, 
Appendix,  pp.  462-464.  XII.  Uhden,  N'ew  England  Theocracy,  Conant's  transla- 
tion, Boston,  1858,  pp.  61,  62.  XIII.  ¥\QX.cheT,  History  .  .  .  of  Independency 
in  England,  London,  1862,  III:  131,  132.  XIV.  Waddington,  Congregational 
History,  1J67-1700,  pp.  260,  261.  XV.  T.  W.  Higginson,  Life  of  Francis 
Higginson,  New  York  [1891],  pp.  So,  81. 

The  Anti-Quaker  Clause  of  1660-1  is  to  be  found  in  the  new  church  record, 
made  early  in  John  Iligginson's  pastorate,  and  is  printed  verbatim  at  the  close  of  the 
renewed  covenant  of  1636  in  the  Proceedings  of  Essex  Institute,  I  :  264  ;  in  White, 
Ne'iO  England  Congregationalism ,  p.  14  ;  and  in  W^ebber  and  Nevins,  Old  N'aum- 
keag,  p.  I  6  ;  and  in  Willson's  article  in  the  History  of  Essex  County,  p.  24. 

The  Direction  of  ibbj  was  printed  in  that  year  and  does  not  appear  in  full  on 
the  church  records,  as  it  was  not  formally  adopted  by  the  church,  though  used  by  the 
pastor  in  certain  admissions.  This  pamphlet  was  long  lost  to  sight,  but  was  discov- 
ered by  Rev.  Dr.  J.B.  Felt,  the  antiquary,  and  communicated  by  him  to  Rev.  Dr.  S. 
M.  Worcester.  It  has  since  been  printed  in  I.  S.  M.  Worcester,  New  England's 
Glory  and  Crown.  A  Discourse  delivered  at  Plymouth,  Dec.  22,  1848,  Boston, 
1849,  pp.  54,  55.  II.  Ibid.,  in  Salem  Gazette,  April  4,  1854.'*  HI-  Morton,  Memo- 
riall, ed.  1S55,  Appendix,  pp.  459-462.  IV.  Felt,  Did  the  First  Church  of  Salem 
originally  have  a  Confession  of  Faith  distinct  from  their  Covenant  ?  Boston,  1856, 
Appendix,  pp.  23^-25.  V,  White,  New  England  Congregationalism,  Salem,  1861, 
igo-192  (from  Worcester).  VI.  Felt,  Reply  to  the  New  England  Congregationalism, 
etc.,  Salem,  1861,  Appendix,  The  Confession  of  Faith  may  also  be  found  in  the 
Congregationalist,  Jan.  2,  1890. 


'  Rathband  gives  with  it  the  covenant  of  the  church  of  Rotterdam,  Holland,  "renewed 
when  !Mr.  H.  P.  [Hugh  Peter]  was  made  their  Pastour."     More  will  be  said  of  this  later. 

^2  This  excessively  rare  pamphlet  is  mentioned  by  Thomas,  Hist.  Printing  in  America,  Al- 
bany, 1874,  n  :  323.     A  MS.  copy  exists  among  the  records  of  the  Tabernacle  Church,  Salem. 

3  White,  N.  E.Cong.,  p,  185.  In  the  controversy  between  Worcester,  White,  and  Felt,  the  docu- 
ment was  several  times  printed  in  newspapers  or  pamphlets, 

4  White,  N.  E.  Cong.,  p.  20O, 


CONTROVERSIAL   LITERATURE.  95 

Literature 

The  Salem  Covenant  and  Direction  have  jjiven  rise  to  a  considerable  literature, 
much  of  it  of  a  sharply  controversial  nature  and  not  a  little  affected  by  doctrinal  polem- 
ics. On  the  one  hand,  Rev.  Dr.  S.  M.  Worcester'  and  Rev.  J.  B.  Felt,  LL.D.,''  in- 
sisted, in  numerous  publications,^  that  the  Salem  church  had  a  creed  as  well  as  a  covenant 
at  its  beginning  and  that  the  Direction  of  1665  contains,  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  the 
form  of  creed  adopted  by  the  church  in  1629;  basing  their  arguments,  for  the  most 
part,  on  a  strict  construction  of  the  phrase  employed  by  John  Higginson  in  the  title 
to  the  Direction  itself ;''  and  the  expressions  of  Morton  in  writing  of  the  formation  of 
the  Salem  church.^  They  also  held  from  the  phraseology  of  its  opening  paragraph, 
the  adaptation  of  its  articles  to  1636  rather  than  1629,  and  possible  hints  in  a  pamphlet 
issued  by  the  Salem  church  in  1680,*  and  in  the  Magnalia^  that  the  full  covenant 
with  nine  articles  (styled  by  me  the  "Covenant of  1636"),  could  not  date  from  1629. 
Dr.  Worcester  also  shrewdly  guessed,  simply  from  the  wording  of  the  opening  sen- 
tences of  this  fuller  covenant,  that  it  embedded  the  covenant  of  1629  in  a  single  sen- 
tence.'' This  latter  view  of  Dr.  Worcester's  was  adopted,  though  without  any  special 
advance  in  clearness  of  proof  over  his  argument,  by  Hon.  Charles  W.  Upham^  and 
by  Mr.  George  Punchard,'"  who  do  not,  however,  follow  him  in  his  claims  for  the 
Direction.      On  the  other  hand,  Judge  D.  A.  White"  has  shown'^  that  the  church 


'  S.  M.  Worcester  was  born  in  iSoi,  graduated  at  Harvard  1822,  taught  in  Amherst  College  1823- 
1835.  In  the  latter  year  he  became  pastor  of  the  Tabernacle  Church,  Salem,  and  so  remained  till 
i860.  He  died  in  i866.  He  was  always  a  warm  defender  of  Trinitarian  Congregationalism.  See 
Appleton's  Cyclopeaia  Am.  Biog:,  VI :  613. 

2  J.  B.  Felt  was  born  1789,  graduated  at  Dartmouth  in  1S13.  He  was  pastorat  Sharon,  Mass., 
1821-1824,  and  at  Hamilton,  I\Iass.,  1824-1833.  Being  compelled  by  ill-health  to  abandon  the  ac- 
tive work  of  the  ministry,  he  obtained  employment  congenial  to  his  antiquarian  tastes,  engaging 
from  1836  to  1846  in  the  arranging  of  the  Mass.  State  Archives  at  Boston.  In  1853  he  became  libra- 
rian of  the  Congregational  Library,  Boston.  He  died  in  1869.  In  theology  he  sympathized  with  Dr. 
Worcester,     Sea  I^.  E.  Hist,  and  Gcneatogical  Register^  XXIV:  1-5(1870). 

3  The  most  important  of  these  have  been  cited  in  the  list  of  reprints  of  the  various  Salem  docu- 
ments, especially  those  under  the  title  "  Direction  of  1665,"  in  the  preceding  paragraphs  of  this 
chapter.  I  may  add  Felt,  Atinals  o_f  Saletn,  2d  ed.,  Salem,  1845,  1849,  II  :  567  ;  and  Felt,  Ecctt-st- 
astical  Hist.  N.  E.,  Boston,  1855,  1 :  115,  116,  267.  Some  references  to  newspaper  publications  are 
gathered  up  by  White  in  his  N.  E.  Congregationalism .  ■•  See  text  on  page  119. 

5  Morton,  Mentorially  73-76  ;  Davis  ed.,  145-147  ;  Hubbard,  Gen.  Hist.  N.  E.,  118-120,  follows 
Morton. 

'•'^OTQ&sX.eXy  Discourse  delivered  on  the  First  Cc7itc7inial  .  .  .  0/ the  Tabernacle  Ch.^ 
Salem,  1835,  Appendix  U.    White,  N.  E.  Congregationalism,  187,  1S8. 

'  Ed.  1853-5,  I:  71,  "Covenant  .  .  .  which  was  about  seven  years  after  solemnly  re- 
newed."  **  Worcester,  Ibid.    White,  Ibid. 

'  Upham,  Address  at  the  Re-Dedication  0/ the  Fourth  Meeting-House 0/ the  First  Church 
in  Salejn,  Salem,  1867,  20-30.  He  is  disposed  to  give  weight  to  the  fact  that  a  later  hand  has 
underscored  the  sentence  in  question,  as  if  to  render  it  specially  conspicuous,  in  the  copy  recorded  in 
the  church-book  of  1660-1. 

'"  History  0/  Congregationalism,  IV:  14.  Punchard  leaves  the  general  controversy  unde- 
cided. Webber  and  Nevins,  in  Old  Naumkeag,  13,  14,  take  the  same  view  as  Upham,  but  with- 
out argument.  They  also  hold  that  the  introduction  to  the  enlarged  covenant  dates  from  1660,  a 
theory  which  a  glance  at  Rathband  proves  untenable. 

"  D.  A.  White,  born  in  1776,  graduated  at  Har\'ard,  1797.  After  studying  law,  he  waschosen 
to  the  Mass.  legislature.  He  was  made  Probate  Judge  of  Essex  County  in  1815  and  held  the  office 
till  1853.  From  1848  till  his  death  he  was  president  of  the  Essex  Institute.  He  died  in  i86i.  He 
was  a  Unitarian  of  the  old  school,  a  member  of  the  First  Church  in  Salem.  See  Proc.  Mass.  Hist. 
Soc,  VI :  262-330  (Sept.  1862)  ;  and  Hist.  Coll.  Essex  Institute,  VI  :  1-24,  49-71  (1864). 

^"^  In  various  writings,  all  of  which  are  summed  up  in  his  Nevj  England  Congregationalism, 
Salem,  1861. 


96  ^     CREED   DEVELOPMENT  AT   SALEM 

records  themselves  amply  account  for  the  origin  of  the  Direction  in  1665.  The 
use  of  any  other  standard  than  the  Covenant  at  the  formation  of  the  church  is  to 
be  denied  because  of  the  silence  of  those  records  as  to  any  confession  of  faith  adopted 
by  the  church,  and  the  fact  that  the  Magnalia,  though  preserving  the  Covenant,  does 
not  hint  at  the  existence  of  any  other  document,  while  the  words  of  the  other  his- 
torians' do  not  necessarily  imply  more  than  one  formula,  since,  as  he  claims,  the  de- 
scription "confession"  and  "covenant"  is  not  an  unnatural  one  to  apply  to  the 
many-articled  Covenant  [of  1636].  But  Judge  White  goes  so  far  as  to  claim  also  that 
the  whole  of  the  enlarged  Covenant,  except  the  brief  formula  of  renewal  at  its  begin- 
ning, should  be  dated  back  to  1629.'' 

It  is  with  considerable  diffidence  that  the  writer  presumes  to  pass  judgment  upon 
the  views  of  these  learned  contestants.  But,  it  seems  to  him  that  material  evidence  has 
been  overlooked  on  both  sides.  In  his  opinion  Drs.  Worcester  and  Felt  were  wholly 
wrong  in  claiming  that  the  Direction  of  1665  can  be  the  creed  of  1629,  as  they  would 
have  it.  The  arguments  of  Judge  White  against  this  view  are  conclusive.  But,  if  any 
proof  was  wanting,  the  writer  would  find  it  in  the  fact,  which  a  few  moments'  examination 
seems  to  him  to  demonstrate,  that  the  "confession  of  faith"  of  the  Direction  is  es- 
sentially an  epitome  of  portions  of  the  Westminster  Catechism,  from  which  much  of 
its  phraseology  appears  to  be  borrowed.  It  can  therefore  by  no  possibility  be  dated 
back  to  1629.  The  utmost  that  can  be  claimed  for  the  phrase  employed  by  John  Hig- 
ginson  in  the  title  of  the  Direction  is  that,  in  his  judgment,  it  represented  the  doc- 
trinal position  approved,  in  general,  by  the  church  from  the  beginning.  But  while 
Judge  White  was  right  on  this  point,  he  fell  into  error  regarding  the  enlarged  cove- 
nant, when  he  claimed  that  it  dates  back,  in  its  entirety,  to  1629.  Dr.  Worcester's 
surmise  was  correct ;  the  main  portion  of  this  Covenant  is,  at  the  earliest,  of  1636  f 
and  the  covenant  of  1629  which  has  come  down  to  us  is  a  single  brief  sentence  em- 
bedded in  it.  Evidence  which  Dr.  Worcester  seems  to  have  overlooked  enables  us 
not  only  to  bring  fresh  weight  to  the  correctness  of  his  surmise,  but  to  assert  with  con- 
siderable confidence  that  the  preamble  and  articles  of  the  Covenant  in  its  enlarged  form 
are  from  the  pen  of  Hugh  Peter.  William  Rathband  has  preserved  in  a  work  published  in 
London  in  1644,''  two  covenants  as  illustrative  of  the  practice  of  the  Congregational 
churches.  One  is  that  adopted  by  the  church  in  Rotterdam,  Holland,  when  Peter  became 
its  pastor,^  the  other  our  enlarged  Salem  Covenant.  So  similar  are  they  in  phraseolog}' 
that  the  conclusion  is  hard  to  avoid  that  they  were  written  by  the  same  person.  The  en- 
larged Covenant,  with  the  exception  of  the  single  sentence  which  the  preamble  distinctly 
affirms  to  be  the  original  Covenant,  cannot  therefore  antedate  Peter's  coming  to  Salem."' 


^  /.  e.y  Morton  and  Hubbard,  see  ante,  p.  95,  note  5. 

'^"White's  arguments  were  summed  up  and  reinforced  by  Dr.  De.xter  in  an  article  in  tlie  Congrc- 
g-ationalist,  Jan.  28,  1875,  p.  3.     See  note  6,  below. 

5  Since  Peter  was  not  settled  at  Salem  till  December  of  that  year. 

^  Rathband.  A  Briefe  Narration  oj^ some  Church  Courses  held  in  Oj>inion  and  Practise 
271  the  Churches  lately  erected  in  AVif  England,  pp.  17-19.  This  portion  of  Rathband's  work  is 
quoted  by  Hanbury,  Memorials,  II  :  309,  310.  White  twice  alludes  to  Hanbury's  reprint  of  the 
Salem  Covenant,  Neiv  England  Cong.,  pp.  21,  258  ;  but  seems  not  to  have  compared  it  with  the 
Rotterdam  Covenant  preserved  in  the  same  passage. 

^  In  1629. 

'  The  strongest  argument  which  can  be  brought  against  the  view  here  presented  is  the  state- 
ment of  Morton  (and  Hubbard)  that  the  Salem  church  adopted  "a  confession  of  faith  and  cove- 
nant "  in  1629.  This  dual  expression,  which  applies  admirably  to  the  nine  articled  and  lengthy 
covenant  of  1636,  cannot  be  made  to  fit  the  single  sentence  of  1629.  It  should,  however,  be  remen*- 
bered  that  Morton  was  not  a  contemporary  writer.     His  work  was  published  in  1669.     Let  it  be  con- 


PURITANS   AND   SEPARATISTS  97 

THE  Congregationalists  whose  standards  have  thus  far  been 
presented  were  Separatists,  but  the  vast  majority  of  those 
who  were  to  come  to  the  shores  of  New  England  were  not  Sepa- 
ratists but  Puritans.'  Uoctrinally  there  was  little  difference  be- 
tween the  two  parties.  Both  were  Calvinists  of  a  pronounced 
type  and  both  belived  that  in  the  Bible  is  to  be  found  a  sufficient 
rule  for  faith  and  church  practice.  But  while  the  Separatist 
would  withdraw  from  the  English  Establishment  at  once  and  for- 
ever, the  Puritan  remembered  that  the  sixteenth  century  had  seen 
the  constitution,  liturgy,  and  doctrinal  standards  of  the  English 
Church  essentially  altered  at  least  four  times  by  the  united  action 
of  the  sovereign  and  of  Parliament.''^  He  was  not  inclined,  there- 
fore, to  look  upon  the  State  Church  as  by  any  means  in  a  hope- 
less condition.  At  first,  in  the  early  days  of  Elizabeth,  Puritan 
opposition  had  been  directed  chiefly  against  certain  rites  and 
vestments;  as  the  movement  went  on,  the  Puritans  began  to 
question  more  and  more  the  warrant  for  the  whole  church  con- 
stitution in  its  episcopal  form ;  but  they  constantly  hoped  that 
that  which  had  been  established  by  law  would  be  changed  by 
legislative  act.  Nor  was  there,  at  first,  anything  which  seemed 
unlikely  in  this  supposition.  Throughout  the  reign  of  Elizabeth 
the  Puritans  were  a  growing  party  ;  they  might  soon,  it  was  easy 
to  believe,  incline  the  sovereign  and  Parliament  to  enact  the  re- 
forms  for  which  they  longed.     But,  as  we  have  seen,^  there  grew 


ceded,  nevertheless,  that  he  may  have  got  his  information  from  John  Higginson,  one  of  the  mem- 
bers of  the  church  in  1629  and  a  contemporary.  Higginson  was  only  13  in  1629.  He  left  Salem 
within  a  year  or  two  and  did  not  return  till  1659.  'i'he  church  records  were  not  kept  from  1629  to 
1636  or  1637  ;  and  the  book  of  records  which  John  Higginson  found  on  his  return  bore  on  its  open- 
ing pages  the  covenant  as  enlarged  in  1636.  (See  anh;  p.  93,  note  2.)  The  opening  paragraph  of 
that  enlarged  covenant  declares  that  something  which  follows  is  the  "  Church  Covenant  we  find 
this  Church  bound  unto  at  theire  first  beginning."  It  is  not  easy,  from  the  document  itself,  to  see  how 
much  of  what  follows  that  declaration  implies.  In  the  absence  of  any  ready  means  of  test,  such  as 
Ralhband  affords,  Higginson,  or  Morton,  made  the  mistake  of  applying  it  to  all  rather  than  to  a 
single  sentence.  The  error  was  easy  and  natural  and  once  made  was  readily  followed  by  Hubbard 
and  Mather. 

It  is  with  satisfaction  that  I  am  able  to  record  that  the  late  Dr.  Dexter,  to  whose  judgment 
the  conclusions  thus  outlined  were  submitted,  expressed  his  concurrence,  in  a  letter  of  Oct.  29,  1890, 
not  only  in  this  note  but  in  the  entire  position  here  taken  in  regard  to  the  merits  of  the  discussion. 

•  The  contrasts  between  the  Separatist  colony  of  Plymouth  and  the  Puritan  settlements  of 
Massachusetts  Bay  have  been  sharply  drawn  by  S.  N.  Tarbox,  Plymouth  and  the  Bay,  in  Cong. 
Quarterly,  XVII  :  238-252. 

*  The  extent  to  which  the  Church  of  the  Tudor  period  was  the  creature  of  the  State  is 
clearly  shown  in  G.  W.  Childs'  Church  and  State  under  the  Tudors,  London,  1890. 

'  See  ante,  p.  77,  note. 


gS  CREED  DEVELOPMENT  AT  SALEM 

up  alongside  of  Puritanism,  as  the  sixteenth  century  waned,  the 
ne\N  Jure  divino  Episcopacy  of  Bancroft  and  Bilson,  a  view  which 
much  increased  the  opposition  between  the  Puritan  and  the 
■High  Anglican  parties,  while  just  in  the  degree  in  which  it 
dominated  those  charged  with  the  conduct  of  government  it 
made  vain  the  expectation  of  legislative  change.  Yet  it  was 
not  till  the  elevation  of  Laud  to  the  bishopric  of  London 
by  Charles  L,  in  1628,  put  a  man  at  the  head  of  one  of  the 
most  Puritanically  inclined  of  English  dioceses  who  was  deter- 
mined to  enforce  absolute  conformity  to  his  high  church  views 
and  who  at  the  same  time  heartily  supported  the  growing  ab- 
solutism and  tyranny  of  the  crown,  that  the  great  majority  of 
the  Puritan  party  began  to  despair  of  churchly  reform  at  home. 
Laud's  elevation  to  the  see  of  Canterbury  in  1633,  as  well  as  his 
influence  over  the  king,  placed  all  ecclesiastical  England  at  his 
mercy;  while  the  frustration  by  Charles  of  all  attempts  of  Parlia- 
ment to  limit  the  exercise  of  royal  authority  made  men  doubtful 
as  to  the  prospects  of  civil  liberty.  It  was  natural,  therefore, 
that  the  descriptions  of  the  experiences  of  the  Plymouth  settlers, 
such  as  Mourt's  Relation^  or  Winslow's  Good  News  from  New 
England,'  should  attract  attention  among  the  Puritans  and  stimu- 
late inquiry  among  the  more  adventurous  as  to  the  feasibility 
of  planting  colonies  beyond  the  ocean  out  of  the  reach  of  Laud. 
It  would  be  far  from  correct  to  say  that  it  was  any  general  long- 
ing for  freedom  of  conscience  or  universal  toleration  that  moved 
these  men  to  think  of  America  ;  it  was  an  impulse  of  a  much 
simpler  and,  considering  the  age  in  which  they  lived,  of  a  far 
more  natural  character.  They  believed  certain  practices  in  the 
government  and  worship  of  the  Church  of  England  to  be  contrary 
to  the  Word  of  God.  They  did  not  desire  to  separate  from  that 
great  body,^  or  brand  it  as  in  its  entirety  anti-Christian,  as  some 


'  Published  in  1622  and  1624,  respectively. 

2  See  the  views  on  separation  reported  by  Mather  (Mag-nalia,  ed.  1853-5,  1 :  362)  to  have  been 
uttered  by  Francis  Higginson  as  he  left  England.  But  perhaps  the  kindly  feeling  of  these  emi- 
grants toward  the  Church  of  England,  in  spite  of  its  errors,  is  best  seen  in  the  Hznnble  Reqvest  0/ 
.  .  the  Governozer  and  the  Company  late  gone  for  New-England :  To  the  rest  0/ their 
Brethren^  in  and  of  the  Church  of  England.  For  the  obtaining  of  their  Prayers.,  etc.  Lon- 
don, 1630  (also  Hubbard.  Gen.  Hist.,  pp.  126-128  ;  Hutchinson,  Hist.  Mass.  Bay,  1 :  487-489  ;  Hazard, 


PURITAN    SETTLEMENTS  99 

of  the  extremer  Separatists  had  done.  They  wanted  to  get  out 
of  the  way  of  the  ecclesiastical  courts  and  the  high  church 
bishops  to  some  place  where  they  could  discard  such  of  the  cere- 
monies of  the  church  as  seemed  superstitious  and  practice  such 
things  as  seemed  to  them  directly  enjoined  by  Scripture. 

It  was  not  long  after  the  landing  of  the  Plymouth  founders 
that  attempts  looking  toward  further  settlements  on  the  coast  of 
the  present  State  of  Massachusetts  were  made.  Some  of  these 
attempts  were  by  Church  of  England  and  royalist  sympathizers, 
sent  out  by  Sir  Ferdinando  Gorges  and  others,  to  take  posses- 
sion of  the  lands  about  Massachusetts  Bay,  to  which  he  held  claim. 
These  settlements,  begun  in  1622,  and  permanently  carried  on  after 
1623,  caused  trouble  enough  to  the  Separatists  of  Plymouth  and 
to  the  Puritans  who  afterward  occupied  the  soil  on  which  they 
were  established.'  But  our  concern  here  is  with  the  endeavors  of 
the  Puritans  to  secure  a  home  in  the  new  world.  These  efforts  had 
their  remote  beginnings  in  the  fishing  trade,  which  then,  as  now, 
could  advantageously  be  carried  on  by  vessels  making  those  shores 


Historical  Collections^  Philadelphia,  1792-4,  1:305-307;  Young,  Chron.  .  .  .  Mass.,  295-298. 
Palfrey,  Hist.  N.  £.,  1 :  312,  reports  a  rumor  ascribing  its  composition  to  Rev.  John  White  of  Dor- 
chester, Eng.).  This  document  was  signed  by  Winthrop,  Dudley,  Johnson,  Phillips,  and  others. 
A  single  extract  will  suffice :  "  Wee  desire  you  would  be  pleased  to  take  Notice  of  the  Principals, 
and  Body  of  our  Company,  as  those  who  esteeme  it  our  honour  to  call  the  Church  of  England, 
from  whence  wee  rise,  our  deare  Mother.  .  .  .  Wee  leave  it  not  therefore,  as  loathing  that 
milk  wherewith  we  were  nourished  there,  but  blessing  God  for  the  Parentage  and  Education,  as 
Members  of  the  same  Body,  shall  always  rejoice  in  her  good."  Of  course  there  were  differences  in 
degree  of  opposition  against  English  ecclesiastical  officers  and  institutions.  When  Winthrop  and 
his  brethren  came  to  choose  Wilson  as  teacher  of  the  Boston-Charlestown  church,  August  27,  1630, 
they  "  used  imposition  of  hands,  but  with  this  protestation  by  all,  that  it  was  only  as  a  sign  of 
election  and  confirmation,  not  of  any  intent  that  Mr.  Wilson  should  renounce  the  ministry  he  re- 
ceived in  England."  Winthrop  Hist.  N.  E.  {or  Journal),  Savage's  2d  ed.,  Boston,  1853,  ^  '•  38~39- 
But  the  same  George  Phillips,  who  signed  the  Hvmble  Reqvest  with  Winthrop,  and  who  had  been 
a  minister  of  the  Church  of  England  in  Essex,  told  Doctor  Fuller  of  Plymouth,  in  June,  1630, 
16  days  after  landing,  that  "  if  they  will  have  him  stand  minister,  by  that  calling  which  he  received 
from  the  prelates  in  England,  he  will  leave  them."  Bradford's  Letter  Book,  /  Coll.  Mass. 
Hist.  Soc.y  III  :  74  ;  De.xter,  Cong,  as  seen.,  p.  417.  The  Boston  church  was  so  well  known  to  be 
Non-conformist  rather  than  Separatist,  that  when  Roger  Williams  was  invited  in  1631  to  supply  its 
pulpit  during  Wilson's  absence,  he  refused  because  he  "  durst  not  officiate  to  an  unseparated  peo- 
ple, as,  upon  examination  and  conference,  I  [he]  found  tliem  to  be."  Williams'  Letter  to  Cotton 
the  younger,  in  /  Proc.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  IIL  316,  Mch.  1858.  See  also  De.xter,  As  to  Roger  Williams, 
p.  4  ;  and  G.  E.  Ellis,  Puritan  Age  .  .  in  .  .  Mass.,  Boston,  1888,  p.  271.  Many  illustra- 
tions of  the  varying  positions  taken  by  the  founders  of  New  England  on  the  validity  of  episcopal 
ordination  are  given  by  Dr.  J.  H.  Trumbull  in  a  note  to  his  reprint  of  Lech  ford's  Plain  Dealing, 
Boston,  1867,  pp.  16,  17. 

•  The  best  account  of  these  anti-Puritan  settlements,  and  of  the  doings  of  Thomas  Morton 
and  other  leaders  in  them,  is  that  of  Charles  Francis  Adams,  Three  Episodes  0/  Massachusetts 
History,  Boston,  1892,  1 :  1-360. 


lOO  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

a  base  of  supply.  Since  more  men  could  be  employed  in  fishing 
than  were  needed  to  sail  the  vessels  home,  it  occurred  to  some  of 
those  interested  in  the  business  that  it  would  be  well  to  have  the 
unnecessary  members  of  the  crews  remain  in  New  England  and 
form  a  permanent  colony,  from  which  supplies  could  be  drawn. 
Such  a  plan  was  put  into  practice  by  the  Dorchester  (county  of 
Dorset)  Fishing  Company,  a  stock  partnership  organized  by  the 
Puritan,  Rev.  John  White,  of  that  place;  and  in  1623  or  1624  men 
were  actually  sent  out  and  settled  on  Cape  Ann.'  About  a  year 
after  the  beginning  of  this  settlement  Roger  Conant,  an  earnest 
Puritan,  who  had  been  some  time  at  Plymouth,  but  in  disfavor, 
went  thither  to  take  its  affairs  in  charge.  The  colony  proved  a 
poor  venture,  but  Conant  was  minded  to  stay;  and  accordingly, 
since  he  did  not  think  the  rocky  shores  of  Cape  Ann  favorable  for 
a  settlement,  he  removed,  in  1626,  to  the  spot  then  called  Naum- 
keag,  but  better  known  by  its  later  name  of  Salem.'' 

Thus  far  the  work  had  been  done  without  a  special  or  certainly 
valid  patent,^  and  had  had  trade  as  its  principal  aim.  But  White 
had  conceived  the  idea  of  a  Puritan  colony  beyond  the  sea,  and  set 


1  See  J.  W.  Thornton's  handsome  monograph,  Landing  at  Cape  A  mic^  etc.  Boston,  1854, 
pp.  39-60.  The  Plymouth  colonists  secured  a  grant  from  Lord  Sheffeild  (one  of  the  Council  for 
New  England)  dated  Jan.  i,  1623  (O.  S.),  i.  e.  Jan.  11,  1624,  of  our  reckoning,  authorizing  them  to 
establish  a  fishing  settlement  and  town  where  Gloucester  now  is.  Thornton  gives  the  full  text  of 
the  patent  (pp.  31-35)  and  a  beautiful  fac-siraile.  Capt.  John  Smith,  in  his  Coierall  Historic,  Lon- 
don, 1624,  p.  247,  records  that  the  Dorchester  company's  colony  sheltered  itself  under  the  Plymouth 
colonist's  patent.  But  they  cannot  have  much  regarded  it,  indeed,  it  was  really  worthless  (see 
Memorial  Hist,  of  Boston,  1 :  60,  74,  92),  and  they  were  soon  in  open  quarrel  with  Standish  and 
others  of  Plymouth,  and  were  holding  the  Cape-Ann  territory  by  force.  Compare  also  Prof.  H.  B. 
Adams,  Fisher-Plantation  on  Cape  Anne,  in  Hist.  Coll.  Essex  Inst.,  XIX:  81-90  (1882).  See  also 
Hubbard,  no,  in  ;  and  a  note,  by  Deane,  to  Bradford,  Hist.  Plyjn.  Plant.,  ed.  1856,  168,  169.  A 
good  sketch  of  Conant  is  that  by  Felt,  in  N.  E.  Hist,  and  Genealogical  Register,  II :  233-239,  329- 
335  (1848).  The  whole  matter  of  this  colony  and  its  enlargement  into  a  Puritan  settlement  is  set 
forth  briefly  in  John  White's  most  valuable  Planter  s  Plea,  London,  1630 ;  reprinted  in  part  in 
Young,  Chron.     .     .     .     Mass.,  pp.  3-16. 

*  Our  chief  source  of  information,  aside  from  White,  Planter  s  Pica,  on  all  these  matters  is 
Hubbard,  General  History  of  New  England,  printed  at  Boston  (2d  ed.)  1S48,  pp.  101-120.  See 
also  Young,  Chronicles  .  .  .  of  Massachusetts,  Boston,  \Z\(s,  passim :  and  Phippen  in //^zj^. 
Coll.^  Essex  Inst.,  I:  94,  145,  185.  Palfr^-,  History  of  N.  E.,  I:  283-301,  and  Deane  in  Winsor's 
Narrative  and  Critical  Hist.  Ill :  295-312,  have  good  accounts  of  these  events.  Prof.  Adams's 
Origin  of  Salem  Plantatioii,  in  Hist.  Coll.  Essex  Inst.  XIX:  153-166,  has  facts  of  value;  and 
Haven's  The  Mass.  Company,  in  Winsor's  Memorial  Hist,  of  Boston,  Boston,  1882,  1 :  87-98,  is 
worth  consulting. 

5  See  above,  note  i.  Conant  was  a  Puritan,  but,  like  White,  a  conformist  enough  to  be 
attached  to  the  Church  of  England  and  opposed  to  Separatism.  With  him  came  to  minister  to  the 
wants  of  the  little  colony  a  John  Lyford,  a  clergyman  of  the  Church  of  England  in  sympathy  with 
the  Establishment,  who  had  made  much  trouble  at  Plymouth  when  there  with  Conant,  and  who 


THE   MASSACHUSETTS   COMPANY  101 

out  now  to  procure  a  patent  and  enlist  Puritan  sympathy.  The 
body  having  nominal  authority  over  New  England  was  the  "Coun- 
cil established  at  Plymouth,  in  the  County  of  Devon,  for  the  plant- 
ing, ruling,  ordering,  and  governing  of  New  England  in  America," 
a  corporation  whose  charter  had  been  sealed  on  November  3,  1620;' 
and  which,  though  possessing  a  title,  in  name  at  least,  to  all  land 
between  40°  and  48°  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific,  was  essen- 
tially a  trading  and  fishing  monopoly  for  Sir  Ferdinando  Gorges 
and  his  friends,  and  soon  attracted  the  unfavorable  notice  of  Par- 
liament.'' This  Plymouth  Council,  being  anxious  to  make  such  use 
of  their  property  as  they  could,  was  persuaded  to  grant  to  a  Puri- 
tan land  company,'  of  which  John  Endicott  was  a  member,  that 
portion  of  the  New  World  lying  between  lines  drawn  three  miles 
north  of  the  Merrimac  and  the  same  distance  to  the  south  of  the 
Charles,  by  an  instrument  issued  March  19,  1628.  As  the  agent  of 
this  new  company,  Endicott  came  out  with  a  few  settlers,  landing 
at  Salem  September  6  of  the  same  year.  Meanwhile  White  was 
zealously  introducing  the  Puritanly  inclined  members  of  this  new 
land  company  to  like-minded  men  in  England,  with  a  view  to 
building  up  large  Puritan  settlements  in  America.  The  result 
was  that  the  land  company  was  re-formed  with  many  new  mem- 
bers, and,  on  March  4,  1629,  was  provided  with  a  royal  charter" 
organizing  it  into  the  "  Governor  and  Company  of  the  Mattachu- 
setts  Bay  in  Newe  England,"  and  giving  it  power  to  admit  freemen, 
elect  officers,  and  make  laws  of  local  application  to  all  its  territories. 
This  organization  at  once  pushed  on  the  work  with  vigor.  A  large 
band  of  colonists  was  got  together,  to  be  sent  over  to  Salem  in 
the  spring  of  1629.  As  the  Company  was  strongly  Puritan  and  the 
aim  of  the  emigration  chiefly  religious,  it  is  no  wonder  that  we 
find  them   early  negotiating  for  ministers  to   serve  the   spiritual 


had  left  Plymouth  for  Nantasket  in  Conant's  company.  Lyford's  character  was  none  of  the  best. 
See  Hubbard,  pp.  106,  107.  Bradford,  Hist.  Plyin.  Plant. ^  pp.  171,  173,  192-196.  Young,  Ckron. 
.  .  .  Mass.,  p.  20.  There  was  no  church  at  Salem,  in  a  Congregational  sense,  till  after  the  com- 
ing of  Endicott. 

1  The  te.xt  of  this  patent  may  be  found  in  Hazard,  Historical  Collections,  Philadelphia,  1792- 
1794,  1 :  103-118. 

'  See  C.  F.  Adams,  Three  Ef>isodes  0/  Mass.  History,  1 :  127-129. 

8  Some  quotations  from  this  charter  are  preserved  in  the  charter  of  1629.     See  note  4. 

*  Text,  Records  of    .     .     .    Mass.  Bay,  Boston,  1853,  1 :  3-20. 


102  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

wants  of  the  new  colony.  Three  were  secured,'  Francis  Bright,'' 
Francis  Higginson,^  and  Samuel  Skelton;^  and  another,  Ralph 
Smith,''  obtained  passage  in  the  Company's  ships;  but  only  Higgin- 
son  and  Skelton  remained  permanently  with  the  Salem  colonists. 

On  their  arrival,  late  in  June,  1629,  the  ministers  found  the 
ground  fully  prepared  for  the  planting  of  religious  institutions. 
As  has  been  already  pointed  out,  the  Salem  settlers,  though  Puri- 
tans, were  not  Separatists,  and  had  most  of  them  been  inclined  to 
look  upon  the  men  of  Plymouth  as  dangerous  innovators.  But 
sickness  had  laid  heavy  hand  on  the  little  company  under  Endicott 
at  Salem  during  the  winter  preceding  the  minister's  arrival,  and 
the  governor  had  sent  to  Plymouth  for  the  professional  help  of 
Dr.  Samuel  Fuller,  a  deacon  of  the  Plymouth  church.  With  him 
came  more  definite  acquaintance  with  the  Plymouth  way  and  the 
removal  of  much  prejudice;  so  much  so  that  Endicott  acknowl- 
edged, in  a  letter  to  Bradford,  that  he  recognized  that  the  outward 


1  See  Young,  Chronicles  .  .  .  o/  Mass.,  pp.  65,  96,  gg,  134,  135,  142-144,  207-212.  Hub- 
bard, pp.  112,  113.     Felt,  Antials  of  Salem,  2d  ed.,  Salem,  1845,  1 :  510-513. 

2  Francis  Bright,  it  would  appear,  quarrelled  with  the  rest  of  the  company  before  he  had  been 
long  with  them.  He  soon  left  Salem,  and  after  a  little  time  in  Charlestown,  returned  to  England 
in  August,  1630.  The  exact  cause  of  his  disagreement  we  do  not  know  ;  but  we  may  conjecture  that 
he  was  more  of  a  conformist  than  either  Higginson  or  Skelton,  and  failed  to  agree  with  them  re- 
garding church  discipline.  Hubbard,  pp.  112,  113,  asserts  this  to  be  a  fact,  and  quotes  with  appro- 
bation a  passage  of  much  obscurity  from  Johnson's  Wonder-ivorJiing  Pro7'idencc,  London,  1654, 
p.  20  (reprinted  by  W.  F.  Poole,  Andover,  1867).  But  the  Company  state  in  a  letter  to  Endicott, 
April  17,  1629,  that  the  ministers  had  "  declared  themselves  to  us  to  be  of  one  judgment,  and  to  be 
fully  agreed  on  the  manner  how  to  exercise  their  ministry."    (Young,  C/^row.    .    .    .    il/aw.,  p.  160.) 

3  Francis  Higginson,  the  teacher  of  the  Salem  church,  was  born  in  1588,  graduated  at  Cam- 
bridge, A.B.  in  i6og-io,  and  A.M.  in  1613.  He  then  became  minister  at  Claybrooke,  a  parish  of  Lei- 
cester ;  but  while  there  the  influence  of  Thomas  Hooker,  afterwards  of  Hartford,  and  others,  turned 
his  Puritan  inclinations  into  non-conformity.  Like  many  other  Puritans,  he  was  silenced ;  but  his 
friends  employed  him  as  a  "lecturer."  While  still  at  Leicester  he  was  engaged  to  go  to  Salem. 
Here  he  arrived  June  29,  1629 ;  and  was  ordained  on  July  20,  following.  He  died  August  6,  1630. 
His  life  is  treated  in  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  1 :  354-366  ;  Bentley,  Description  and  Hist,  of 
Salem,  in  i  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  VI  ;  Eliot,  Biog.  Diet.  .  .  .  of  the  First  Settlers  .  .  .  in 
N.  E.,  Boston,  1809,  pp.  248-253;  Brook,  Lives  of  the  Puritans,  W:  369-375;  Young,  Chron. 
.  .  .  yl/fl.rj.,  p.  317  ;  YA\.,\-a  N.  E.  Hist,  and  Genealogical  Register,V\:  105-127(1852);  Sprague, 
Annals  of  the  Atn.  Pulpit,  New  York,  1857,  I:  6-10;  White,  N.  E.  Co7igrcgationalism,  pp.  283, 
284;  Appleton's  Cyclop.  Am.  Biog.,  HI:  198;  T.  W.  Higginson,  Life  of  Francis  Higginson, 
New  York,  1891. 

Samuel  Skelton,  the  pastor  of  the  Salem  church,  is  less  well  known  than  Higginson.  He 
was  graduated  at  Cambridge,  A.B.  in  1611,  and  A.M.  in  1615.  He  then  probably  settled  in  Dorset- 
shire (though  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1855,  1 :  68,  says  Lincolnshire).  Endicott  had  known  him 
and  profited  by  his  ministry  in  England.  He  was  ordained  over  the  Salem  church  on  the  same  day 
as  Higginson.  He  died  Aug.  2,  1634.  See  Brook's  Lives,  HI:  520;  Bentley,  as  cited  in  previous 
note;  Young,  Chron.     .     .     .     Mass.,  pp.  142,  143;  White,  N.  E.  Cong.,  pp.  284,  2S5. 

■•  Young,  Ibid,  pp.  151,  152.  His  passage  was  granted  before  the  Company  understood  his 
Separatist  tendencies.  He  soon  went  from  Salem  to  Nantasket,  and  thence  to  Plymouth,  where  he 
became  pastor  of  the  church,  but  not  meeting  with  entire  success  in  the  work,  he  resigned  in  1636. 
He  died  in  Boston  in  1662.     See  also  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant.,  pp.  263,  278,  351. 


THE   SALEM   CHURCH  IO3 

form  of  God's  worship,  as  observed  at  Plymouth,  and  explained  by 
Fuller,  was  the  same  that  he  had  himself  long  believed  to  be  the 
true  method.'  The  miles  of  ocean  between  Salem  and  England 
made  t^ie  separation  from  the  English  Establishment  a  practical 
fact,  whatever  the  theory  might  be;  and  the  exigencies  of  life  in 
a  new  settlement,  where  so  much  had  to  be  created  anew,  brought 
out  the  real  unity  of  belief  regarding  Scriptural  doctrine  and  polity 
which  had  always  characterized  Puritans  and  Separatists.  So  it 
came  about  that,  not  long  after  Higginson  and  Skelton  had  landed, 
Endicott  appointed  a  day  for  the  choice  of  pastor  and  teacher,  and 
in  spite  of  the  fact  that  both  were  ministers  of  the  Church  of  Eng- 
land, Skelton  and  Higginson  were  chosen  and  ordained  to  their 
new  work.  We  are  fortunately  in  possession  of  a  graphic  and  ab- 
solutely contemporary  account  of  these  events,  from  the  pen  of 
one  who  was  afterward  a  deacon  in  the  Salem  church,  and  written 
to  Bradford  at  Plymouth:^ 

"  S''  :  I  make  bould  to  trouble  you  with  a  few  lines,  for  to  certifie  you  how  it 
hath  pleased  God  to  deale  with  us,  since  you  heard  from  us.  How,  notwithstanding 
all  opposition  that  hath  been  hear,  &  els  wher,  it  hath  pleased  God  to  lay  a  founda- 
tion, the  which  I  hope  is  agreeable  to  his  word  in  every  thing.  The  20.  of  July,  it 
pleased  y**  Lord  to  move  y*^  hart  of  our  Gov''  to  set  it  aparte  for  a  solemne  day  of 
humilliation,  for  y'^  choyce  of  a  pastor  &  teacher.  The  former  parte  of  y'^  day  being 
spente  in  praier  &  teaching,  the  later  parte  aboute  y®  election,  which  was  after  this 
maner.  The  persons  thought  on  (who  had  been  ministers  in  England)  were  de- 
manded concerning  their  callings ;  they  acknowledged  ther  was  a  towfould  calling, 
the  one  an  inward  calling,  when  y**  Lord  moved  y  harte  of  a  man  to  take  y'  calling 
upon  him,  and  fitted  him  with  guiftes  for  y"  same;  the  second  was  an  outward  call- 
ing, which  was  from  y^  people,  when  a  company  of  beleevers  are  joyned  togither  in 
covenante,  to  walke  togither  in  all  y^  ways  of  God,  and  every  member  (being  men) 
are  to  have  a  free  voyce  in  y*  choyce  of  their  officers,  &c.  Now,  we  being  per- 
swaded  that  these  2.  men  were  so  quallified,  as  y^  apostle  speaks  to  Timothy,  wher 
he  saith,  A  bishop  must  be  blamles,  sober,  apte  to  teach,  &c.,  I  thinke  I  may  say, 
as  y'  eunuch  said  unto  Philip,  What  should  let  from  being  baptised,  seeing  ther  was 
water?  and  he  beleeved.  So  these  2.  serv'ants  of  God,  clearing  all  things  by  their 
answers,  (and  being  thus  fitted,)  we  saw  noe  reason  but  we  might  freely  give  our 
voyces  for  their  election,  after  this  triall.  [Their  choice  was  alter  this  manner : 
every  fit  member  wrote,  in  a  note,^  his  name  whom  the  Lord  moved  him  to  think 


1  Letter  in  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant.,  pp.  264,  265.  See  also  De.xter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp. 
414-420. 

2  Letter  in  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant.,  pp.  265,  266,  and  Bradford's  Letter-Book,  /  Coll. 
Mass.  Hist.  .Soc,  III  :  67,  68.     Gott  had  spent  the  winter  of  1628-9  '^  Salem. 

5  On  the  possibly  Dutch  derivation  of  this  system  of  voting, —  the  first  use  of  the  written 
ballot  in  America, —  see  YiougXas  Ca.m^ht\\,  The  Puritan  in  England,  Holland,  and  America, 
New  York,  1892,  II  :  438. 


104  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

was  fit  for  a  pastor,  and  so  likewise,  whom  they  would  have  for  teacher  ;  so  the  most 
voice  was  for  Mr.  Skelton  to  be  Pastor,  and  Mr.  Higginson  to  be  Teacher;^]  So 
M'.  Skelton  was  chosen  pastor  and  Mr.  Higgison  to  be  teacher;^  and  they  accept- 
ing y^  choyce,  M^  Higgison,  with  3.  or  4.  of  y*  gravest  members  of  y*  church,  laid 
their  hands  on  M''.  Skelton,  using  prayer  therwith.  This  being  done,^  ther  was 
imposission  of  hands  on  M^  Higgison  also.  [Then  there  was  proceeding  in  election 
of  elders  and  deacons,  but  they  were  only  named,  and  laying  on  of  hands  deferred, 
to  see  if  it  pleased  God  to  send  us  more  able  men  over;^]  And  since  that  time, 
Thursday  (being,  as  I  take  it,  y°  6."*  of  August)  is  appoynted  for  another  day  of  hu- 
milliation,  for  y^  ^  choyce  of  elders  &  deacons,  &  ordaining  of  them. 

And  now,  good  S',  I  hope  y*  you  &  y"  rest  of  Gods  people  (who  are  aquainted 
with  the  ways  of  God)  with  you,  will  say  that  hear  was  a  right  foundation  layed,  and 
that  these  2.  blessed  servants  of  y"  Lord  came  in  at  y*  dore,  and  not  at  y*  window. 
Thus  I  have  made  bould  to  trouble  you  with  these  few  lines,  desiring  you  to  remem- 
ber us,  &c.     And  so  rest. 

At  your  service  in  what  I  may, 
Salem,  July  30.  1629.  Charles  Gott." 

The  transaction  thus  narrated  seems  to  be  plain.  Higginson 
and  Slcelton  were  ministers  duly  engaged  by  the  Company  in 
England  to  assume  the  spiritual  charge  of  the  Salem  settlement. 
Gov.  Endicott,  as  representative  of  the  Company,  might  properly 
have  been  expected  to  welcome  them  and  aid  them  in  beginning 
their  work.  But  he,  and  the  majority  of  those  who  had  wintered 
with  him  at  Salem,  had  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  Plymouth 
method  of  ordering  the  church-estate  was  the  right  one  ;  and 
hence  the  governor  appointed  a  day  for  some  at  least  of  the  colo- 
nists to  vote  for  pastor,  teacher,  and  other  officers.  But  here 
a  difficulty  appears.  The  uniform  representation  of  the  later 
writers  is  that  the  church  in  Salem  was  not  formed  till  August 
6,^  and  that  its  covenant  was  prepared  by  Mr.  Higginson  at  the 
request  of  some  of  the  members  about  to  be.  Yet  the  absolutely 
contemporary  letter  of  Gott  speaks  three  times  of  "  members " 
in  a  way  which    certainly   seems   to   imply   that   a   covenant   had 


1  This  statement  is  omitted  in  tlie  letter  as  given  in  Bradford's  History,  but  is  contained  in 
the  copy  in  Bradford's  Letter  Book,  i  Coll.  jMass.  Hist.  Sac,  III  :  67,  68. 

*  Letter  Book  copy  omits  this  clause. 
3  In  Letter  Book,  but  not  in  History. 

*  Letter  Book  says  5.     An  error,  for  the  6  Aug.,  1629,  was  Thursday. 

6  Letter  Book  inserts  full.  A  number  of  minor  variations  between  the  two  copies  I  have 
left  unnoticed. 

*  This  opinion  is  first  put  on  record  by  John  Higginson,  himself  present  as  a  13-year-old  boy 
at  the  ordination  of  his  father,  on  the  title  page  of  his  brief  Direction  printed  in  1665  ;  Morton, 
Metnoriall,  1669,  pp.  Ti-7(>  (Davis  ed.,  pp.  145,  146)  gives  an  extended  account.  Hubbard  (writing 
not  far  from  1680),  pp.  116-120,  gives  many  details  chiefly  drawn  from  Morton,  blather,  Magnalia, 
ed.  1853-5,  PP-  7°~72i  has  a  brief  narrative. 


WHEN    WAS    THE    SALEM    CHURCH    FORMED  105 

been  entered  into  at  some  time  previous  to  July  20.  The  state- 
ment that  the  votes  were  cast  by  "  every  fit  member "  would 
seem  to  render  untenable  the  natural  supposition  that  the  elec- 
tion on  July  20  was  by  all  the  colonists,  while  the  ordination  of 
that  day  is  expressly  declared  to  have  been  by  "  3.  or  4.  of  y" 
gravest  members  of  y"  church."  And  the  letter  which  records 
these  events  was  written,  it  will  be  remembered,  a  week  before 
the  supposed  gathering  of  the  church  on  August  6.  Hence,  in 
spite  of  the  circumstantial  accounts  of  later  historians,  the  earli- 
est of  whom  wrote  nearly  forty  years  after  the  events  he  de- 
scribes, we  are  forced  to  the  conclusion  that  there  was  some  sort 
of  covenanted  church  organization  at  Salem,  previous  to  July  20, 
1629,  and  that  it  was  this  church,  and  not  the  colonists  as  a 
whole,'  that  chose  Higginson  and  Skelton  on  that  day.  At  the  same 
time  much  new  material  was  brought  into  the  religious  life  of 
the  colony  by  the  influx  of  emigrants  in  June  and  July  of  that 
year  ;  and  it  may  well  have  been  that  the  existing  covenant  was 
submitted  to  Higginson  for  approval  or  revision,  and  that  the 
6th  of  August  saw,  in  addition  to  the  ordination  of  ruling  elders 
and  deacons,  the  acceptance  of  the  covenant  by  a  number  of  the 
recently  arrived  emigrants,  who  now  became  members  of  the 
church.  It  can  hardly  be  doubted,  too,  that  on  August  6,  the 
Plymouth  church,  in  the  persons  of  Gov.  Bradford  and  other 
representatives,  extended  the  hand  of  fellowship  to  their  new 
brethren  of  Salem. ■    But  that  the  church  in  Salem  was  first  formed 


'  Hubbard,  General  History,  p.  119;  and  Gov.  Hutchinson,  Hist.  Colony  0/  Mass.  Bay, 
London,  1765,  I  :  10-12,  represent  the  choice  distinctly  as  the  worli  of  the  colonists  before  the 
formation  of  the  church.  Palfrey,  Hist.  N.  E.,  I  :  295,  is  more  guarded,  but  implies  the  same 
thing.  Webber  and  Nevins,  Old  Naumkeag,  p.  11,  speak  of  this  assembly  of  July  20,  as  a  "  town 
meeting"  ;  Bacon,  Genesis  N.  E.  Chs.,  pp.  472-475,  elaborates  this  view  at  length.  On  the  other 
hand,  Punchard,  Hist.  Cong.,  IV  :  12-31,  is  in  substantial  accord  with  the  view  taken  by  the  writer; 
but  I  am  not  able  to  follow  him  in  all  particulars.  The  obser\-ations  of  Rev.  Mr.  Willson,  Hist,  of 
Essex  County,  pp.  22,  23,  are  also  of  value. 

2  The  statement  in  Morton's  Memoriall,  p.  75,  is  too  circumstantial  to  be  without  a  sub- 
stantial basis  of  truth  :  "  Mr.  Bradford.  ....  and  some  others  with  him,  coming  by  Sea, 
were  hindered  by  cross  winds  that  they  could  not  be  there  at  the  beginning  of  the  day,  but  they 
came  into  the  Assembly  afterward,  and  gave  them  the  right  hand  offelloiushi^,"  though  Brad- 
ford himself  makes  no  mention  of  it  in  his  Hist.  Plym.  Plant.  Hubbard,  p.  119,  repeats  the  story. 
It  seems  hardly  likely,  in  spite  of  the  intimations  of  Morton  and  Hubbard,  that  the  Salfem  church 
formally  invited  the  Plymouth  church  to  assist  them.  Had  such  been  the  case  some  allusion 
ought  to  be  found  in  Cott's  letter.  It  is  more  probable  that,  on  receipt  of  Gott's  letter,  Bradford 
and  others  started  on  their  own  motion  to  welcome  the  new  church. 
8 


I06  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

on  August  6,  seems  certainly  an  error.  Yet,  however  originating, 
the  fact  is  of  prime  importance  that  the  first  Puritan  church  on 
New  England  soil  was  formed  on  the  Congregational  model.  The 
example  thus  set  was  one  easy  to  follow. 

The  Salem  covenant  of  1629  was  a  single  sentence,  embracing 
a  simple  promise  to  walk  in  the  ways  of  the  Lord.  In  brevity  and 
contents  it  resembles  other  covenants  of  the  period  which  have  come 
down  to  us.'  From  this  brevity  and  simplicity  it  has  been  errone- 
ously concluded  that  our  New  England  churches,  in  their  early 
state,  applied  no  doctrinal  tests  as  a  condition  of  membership.^  No 
opinion  could  be  farther  from  the  truth.  The  causes  which  led  our 
ancestors  to  America  related  to  church  polity  rather  than  to  doc- 
trinal views  ;  and  hence  the  public  formulae  of  our  churches  on  this 
side  of  the  water  concern  themselves  at  first  with  matters  of  organ- 
ization rather  than  with  points  of  faith. ^  This  agreement  with  the 
Puritan-Calvinistic  portion  of  the  English  establishment  was  so 
entire  that  their  doctrinal  position  could  be  taken  for  granted,  and 
was  not  therefore  at  first  formulated.  But  if  the  doctrinal  beliefs 
_of  the  churches  as  a  whole  needed  no  general  statement,  the  case 
was  far  different  with  the  individual  applicants  for  church-member- 
'Ship.  They  had  to  submit  to  a  searching  private  examination  by 
the  elders  of  the  church  both  as  to  "  their  knowledge  in  the  princi- 
ples of  religion,   ^:   of  their  experience  in  the  wayes  of  grace,  -^wdi  oi 


1  Some  illustrations  will  be  given  in  connection  with  the  te.xt  of  this  covenant. 

2  This  matter  has  given  rise  to  a  considerable  literature,  much  of  it  cast  in  a  controversial 
mould.  The  following  articles,  on  one  side  or  the  other,  may  be  cited  as  likely  to  prove  of 
value  to  the  student:  Cumraings,  Diet,  of  Cong.  Usages  and  Principles^  Boston,  1855,  Art. 
Creeds,  pp.  131-139;  Bacon,  Ancient  Waymarks.,  New  Haven,  1853;  Oilman,  Confessions  of 
Faith,  in  Cong.  Quarterly,  IV:  179-191  (April,  1862);  Mead,  A  New  Declaration  of  Faith  :  Is  it 
Desirable,  etc.,  Minutes  of  National  Council  Cong.  Chs.,  1880,  pp.  144-173  ;  De.xter,  A  Serious 
Misconception,  in  Congregationalist  for  Jan.  2,  1890;  Calkins,  Creeds  as  Tests  of  Church  Mem- 
bership, in  Andover  Review,  XIII:  237-255  (]Mch.,  1890);  De.xter,  Did  the  early  Churches  of 
New  England  Require  assent  to  a  Creed?  \n  Magazine  of  Christian  Literature,  II:  129-138 
(June,  1890).  Of  less  value  are  Thompson,  Formation  of  Creeds,  New  Englander,  IV:  265-274 
(Apl.  1846);  Shedd,  Congregatiotialisni  and  Symbolism,  Bibl.  Sacra,  XV:  661-690  (July,  1858); 
Pond,  Church  Creeds,  Bibl.  Sacra,  XXXIX:  538-546  (July,  1S72). 

3  Compare  the  opening  paragraphs  of  the  preface  to  the  Cambridge  Platform,  and  the  pre- 
face to  the  Confession  of  1680,  both  of  which  will  be  found  on  a  later  page.  Even  when  nearly  a 
century  had  elapsed  since  the  foundation  of  our  churches.  Cotton  Mather  was  able  to  declare  (Ratio 
D'sciplince,  Boston,  1726,  p.  5):  ''l:\\ft  Doctrinal  Articles  of  the  Church  of  England,  a\io,  are 
more  universally  held  and  preached  in  the  Churches  of  New-England,  than  in  any  Nation     .      .      . 

.It  is  well  known,  that  the   Points  peculiar  to  the  Churches  of  A'em-England,  are  those  of  their 
Church  Discipline." 


CREED-TESTS   IX   NEW    EXGLAXD  I07 

the\r  goc//}'  conversation  amongst  men."'  And  the  evidence  is  ample 
that  this  "knowledge"  implied  familiarity  with  and  assent  to  the 
main  doctrines  of  the  Scripture  as  expounded  by  the  Calvinism  of 
the  period.  Once  accepted  by  the  elders,  the  candidate  had  to 
render  an  account  to  the  church,  dwelling  largely,  of  course,  on  ex- 
]ierience,  but  not  wholly  omitting  doctrine.^  In  case  of  men  this 
relation  was  usually  oral  ;  the  women  frequently  rendered  it  by 
means  of  a  written  statement,  and  men  sometimes  exercised  the 
same  privilege.^  But  so  far  were  these  tests  from  being  matters  of 
form,  that  even  in  the  early  days  of  the  first  generation  of  our  New 
England  settlers  the  decided  majority  of  the  colonists  were  unable 
to  show  sutficient  evidence  of  faith  and  experience  to  enter  into 
church  relationship.'' 

But  circumstances  soon  compelled  our  New  England  churches 
to  bear  a  more  public  testimony  to  their  corporate  and  collective 
faith.     There  were  troubles  at  home,  notably  in  the  doctrinal  dis- 


1  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches^  London,  1645,  p.  54.  See  Cotton's  "Twelve  Fundamental 
Articles  of  Christian  Religion  :  the  Denial  whereof  .  .  .  makesaman  an  Heretick."  Tract  published 
in  1713.  These  articles  are  summed  up  by  De.xter  in  Magazine 0/  Christ.  Literatn7-e^  II  :  135  ;  and 
are  given  in  more  detail  by  Lechford,  Plain  Dealings  London,  1642,  pp.  9,  10  (Trumbull's  reprint, 
Boston,  1867,  pp.  25-28).     Lechford  declares  them  to  be  from  a  sermon  preached  in  Oct.,  1640. 

2  Compare  on  these  proceedings,  Lechford,  as  cited,  pp.  4-11  (Trumbull's  reprint,  18-29)  \ 
Cotton,  as  cited,  54-65  ;  Weld,  Brief  Narration  of  the  Practices  of  the  Chs.  in  N.  E.,  London, 
1645  (reprinted  in  Cong.  Quarterly.,  XVII:  253-271,  see  pp.  255,  261,  262).  The  method  em- 
ployed at  Boston  is  shown  by  the  account  of  the  admission  of  Rev.  John  Cotton,  and  his  wife,  in 
1633,  Winthrop,  }/ist.  A'.  E.  {Jozirnal),  Savage's  ed.,  1853,  I  :  130-132.  At  the  Hartford  church, 
under  Hooker,  fitness  for  membership  was  shown  by  public  question  and  answer,  rather  than  by  re- 
lation, Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  H  '•  68.  The  method  of  the  Salem  church  in  1661  is  given  in 
its  records,  W^hite,  X.  E.  Cong.^  p.  50. 

3  A  considerable  number  of  these  relations  have  come  down  to  our  own  day.  Fifty,  dating 
from  the  ministry  of  Thos.  Shepard  of  Cambridge,  and  most  of  them  previous  to  1640,  are  still  in  ex- 
istence. (See  Paige,  History  of  Cambridge.,  Boston,  1877,  pp.  252,  253,  where  a  specimen  is  given.) 
More  than  20  exist  in  the  records  of  the  Wenham  church  under  John  Fiske,  1644-1656,  and  are  of  a 
strongly  doctrinal  character.  (See  Dexter,  Serious  Misconception  in  Congregational ist,  Jan.  2, 
1890.)  Other  specimens,  dating  from  a  much  later  period  when  the  severity  of  the  test  had  been 
considerably  relaxed,  may  be  found  in  Hill,  Hist,  of  Old  South  Church,  Boston,  1890,  I:  309  (of 
1744)  ;  and  in  Oilman,  A  ncient  Confessions  of  Faith,  in  Cong.  Quarterly,  XI  :  516-527  (of  1752-58). 

■»  Lechford,  Plain  Dealing,  p.  73  :  "  Againe,  here  is  required  such  confessions,  and  profes- 
sions, both  in  private  and  publique,  both  of  men  and  women,  before  they  be  admitted,  that  three 
parts  of  the  people  of  the  Country  remaine  out  of  the  Church."  Dr.  Trumbull  has  illustrated  this 
statement  with  valuable  notes  (Reprint,  p.  151).  Cotton,  Vl'ay  of  the  Congregational  Churches 
Cleared,  London,  1648,  pp.  71,  72,  denied  the  accuracy  of  Lechford'  s  statement ;  but  in  Richard 
Mather's  reply  to  the  first  of  the  XXXII  Questions  propounded  by  English  Puritans  to  New  Eng- 
land divines,  a  reply  written  in  1639,  and  published  at  London  in  1643  under  the  title  Church-Co-i- 
ernment  and  Church-Covenant  Discvssed,  pp.  7,  8,  it  is  said:  "Whether  is  the  greater  number, 
those  that  are  admitted  hereunto  [church-communion],  or  those  that  are  not  we  cannot  certainly 
tell?  But  .  .  .  we  may  truely  say,  that  for  the  heads  of  Families,  those  that  are  admitted  are 
farre  more  in  number  then  the  other." 


I08  CREED    DEVELOPMENT   AT    SALEM 

turbances  engendered  by  Mrs.  Hutchinson  and  afterwards  by  the 
Quakers  ;  and  there  were  doubts  cast  upon  the  orthodoxy  of  our 
churches  by  their  enemies  in  England/  As  similar  criticisms  had 
led  the  London-Amsterdam  church  to  put  forth  its  doctrinal 
statement  in  1596  and  1598,  so  our  New  England  churches  at  last 
felt  constrained  to  make  the  doctrinal  positions  which  they  had 
held  from  the  beginning  more  evident  to  the  world.  We  there- 
fore find  traces  of  the  use,  soon  after  1640,  of  what  we  would 
now  call  confessions  of  faith  by  a  few  churches;^  and  in  1648  we 
see  the  Westminster  Assembly's  Confession  heartily  endorsed  by 
the  representatives  of  all  our  churches  as  a  substantially  adequate 
doctrinal  expression.^  Of  course  when  such  standards  were  rec- 
ognized as  presenting  the  views  of  a  church,  or  of  the  whole  of 
the  churches,  it  would  be  natural  to  ask  the  assent  of  the  candi- 
date thereto,  in  addition  to  his  relation,  or  occasionally  instead 
of  his  relation.  But  the  adoption  of  such  standards  did  not  in- 
troduce the  doctrinal  test  as  a  precedent  to  church-membership^ 
that  had  existed  from  the  beginning. 

A  good  illustration  of  this  general  evolution  of  definite  written 
creed  statement  is  afforded  by  the  Salem  church,  whose  brief  cove- 
nant of  1629  has  just  been  considered.  The  years  following  its 
adoption  were  stormy  seasons  in  that  church's  history.  Higginson 
died  in  1630,  Skelton  followed  him  in  1634  ;  and  for  a  brief  time 
in  1 63 1,  and  again  from  1633  onward  Skelton  had  been  assisted 
by    the    famous    and    exceedingly    erratic    Roger   Williams.^      On 


1  See  preface  to  Cambridge  Platform,  later  in  this  volume,  regarding  such  criticisms. 

-  John  Fiske's  church  at  Wenham  records,  among  other  similar  entries,  the  following  : 
"8  Nov.  1644:  Voted,  that  a  consent  &  assent  should  be  required  to  ye  profession  of  faith  of  ye 
church  :  and  that  y'  Confession  should  be  read  distinctly  to  them  [candidates]  &  time  given  them 
to  returne  y'  answer."  "  28  Sept.  1645  :  Geo.  Norton  gave  his  assent  to  Confess'  71  of  faith,  &  y» 
cov'  administred  to  him."  Quoted  by  Dexter  in  Magazine  Chris.  Lit.,  II  :  137  (June,  1890).  See 
also  the  strongly  doctrinal  creed-covenant  of  the  Windsor,  Conn.,  church,  of  1647,  which  may  be 
found  on  a  later  page  of  this  volume. 

3  See  preface  to  Cambridge  Platform,  later  in  this  volume. 

■*  The  story  of  Roger  Williams  has  been  well  told  by  Dexter,  As  to  Roger  Williams,  Boston 
[1S76], —  an  indispensable  monograph  for  any  who  would  know  the  truth  regarding  this  much  mis- 
represented man.  The  student  will  do  well  also  to  consult  the  chapter  on  Roger  Williams  in  G.  E. 
Ellis,  Puritan  Age  .  .  in  .  .  Mass.,  Boston,  1888,  pp.  267-299  ;  and  an  article  by  the  same 
writer  in  Wlnsor's  Memorial  Hist,  of  Boston,  Boston,  1882,  1 :  171,  172  ;  to  which  Dr.  Winsor  has 
added  an  extensive  note  on  the  bibliography  of  the  subject.  Ibid.,  172,  173.  Williams  was  not  at  this 
time  a  Baptist,  nor  did  he  become  so  before  his  "banishment."  It  is  possible,  though  not  certain, 
that  he  was  ordained  at  Salem  in  1631.  In  that  year  he  began  ministerial  work  in  Plymouth  and 
remained  there  till  1633,  when  he  went  back  to  Salem.     De.xter,  as  cited,  pp.  5,  7,  26. 


r()c;i;k  Williams  at  salem  109 

Skelton's    death,    the   Salem    people   asked  Williams   to   be    their 

■ 

pastor,  though  he  had  already  made  himself  obnoxious  to  the 
government  of  the  Company  by  his  denunciations  of  the  patent 
as  no  valid  title,  and  his  attack  on  the  character  of  the  king 
and  the  churches  of  England.'  Circumstances  into  which  we 
need  not  enter  here  in  further  detail  led  to  the  cognizance  of 
Williams's  doings  by  the  Court,  and  a  considerably  prolonged 
controversy,  in  which  the  government  appears  to  have  acted  with 
a  good  degree  of  forbearance.  While  this  controversy  was  in 
progress  a  petition  relative  to  some  lands  claimed  by  the  Salem 
people  was  presented  to  the  Court,  and  by  it  laid  on  the  table 
pending  the  adjustment  of  the  disputes  already  existing  between 
it  and  Williams,  who  had  the  support  of  his  church  at  Salem. 
This  act  of  the  Court  roused  Williams's  anger,  and  on  his  insist- 
ance  the  Salem  church  called  on  the  other  churches  of  the  col- 
ony to  discipline  such  of  their  members  as  had  voted  as  magis- 
trates in  the  General  Court  on  the  land  question.'  The  time 
was  most  unwise  for  such  an  attack,  even  if  far  more  justifiable 
than  it  was,  as  the  enemies  of  the  colony  in  England  were  ac- 
tively at  work  and  had  already  taken  steps  looking  toward  the 
immediate  destruction  of  the  legal  existence  of  the  Massachusetts 
Company.'  In  this  crisis  the  government  needed  the  help  of  all 
loyal  men.  And  it  is,  therefore,  not  surprising  that  the  Salem 
church,  which  had  been  persuaded  by  its  young  pastor  to  cen- 
sure the  officers  of  the  imperilled  Company,  soon  began  to  yield 
to  the  reasonable  arguments  of  the  other  churches  and  feel  a 
degree  of  shame  for  what  they  had  done."  Seeing  that  he  no 
longer  had  the  support  of  his  people,  Williams,  with  his  usual 
headstrongness,  sent  a  letter  to  his  flock,  on  August  16,  1635,  an- 
nouncing that  he  had  cast  off  all  communion  with  the  churches 
of  the  Bay  as  false  and  unclean  ;  and  that  he  would  have  noth- 
ing more  to  do  with  the  people  of  Salem  unless  they  would  join 
him  in  cutting  loose  from  all  the  other  churches  of  the  colony.' 
The  good  sense  of  the  church  prevailed,  and  as  a  whole  they  did 


>  Dexter,  Ibid.,  26-28.  2  //,/^.,  38-40.  3  Ibid.,  20-23. 

<  Ibid.,  43.  ^  Ibid.,  43-45- 


no  CREED    DEVELOPMENT   AT    SALEM 

not  heed  him;  but,  as  is  usual  in  such  cases,  it  cost  heart  rnings 
and  sore  divisions,  and  some  went  off  to  the  new  service  which 
Williams  set  up.  But  now  the  Court,  before  which  his  case  had 
some  time  been  pending,  after  a  considerable  hearing  in  which 
it  was  aided  by  the  advice  of  the  most  prominent  ministers 
then  in  New  England,  ordered  him  out  of  its  jurisdiction,  by 
a  sentence  passed  October  9,  1635;'  and  based  on  his  attacks  on 
the  authority  of  the  magistrates,  and  his  persistence  in  defam- 
ing them  and  the  churches  of  which  they  were  members,  in  spite 
of  all  warnings  to  desist."  His  settlement  of  Providence,  his- 
adoption  of  Baptist  views  while  there,  and  his  after  changes  are 
aside  from  the  purpose  of  the  present  narrative. 

Enough  has  been  said  to  show  that  when  Williams  left  the 
Salem  plantation,  in  January,  1636,^  the  church  must  have  been  in 
a  divided  and  distracted  state. ^  But  it  was  at  last  provided  with 
a  pastor  in  the  person  of  the  able,  versatile,  and  distinguished 
Hugh  Peter,^  who  was  settled  at  Salem  December  21,  1636.     Under 


1  Ibid.,  46-60.  2  ii,id.,  65  and  following.  ^  Jdiii.,  6i,  62. 

*  Compare  also,  as  illustrative  of  the  state  of  the  church  after  Williams  left,  Winthrop,  Hist., 
of  N.  E.  {Journal),  2d  ed.,  Boston,  1853,  I-  221. 

5  Hugh  Peter  was  one  of  the  most  picturesque  characters  among  the  early  ministry  of  Nevr 
England.  Born  in  1599,  in  Cornwall,  he  studied  at  Cambridge,  graduating  A.M.  in  1622.  Contact 
with  such  eminent  Puritans  as  Thomas  Hooker  and  John  Davenport  led  him  to  abandon  his  early 
profligacy  and  devote  himself  to  the  ministry.  Admitted  to  Episcopal  orders,  he  preached  with 
much  success  at  St.  Sepulcre's,  London ;  but  his  growing  Puritanism  led  to  his  association  with  the 
leaders  of  the  Massachusetts  Company,  of  which  he  was  one  of  the  early  members.  Being  silenced 
by  Laud  in  London,  he  went  to  Rotterdam  in  1629,  and  was  settled  over  the  church  there,  with  Dr. 
William  Ames  as  colleague.  The  tongue  of  slander  has  attacked  his  moral  character  while  in  Lon- 
don, but  seemingly  with  no  cause  save  enmity.  Here  in  Holland  he  remained  till  the  English 
authorities  moved  the  Dutch  to  render  his  position  insecure.  He  therefore  came  to  New  England, 
arriving  Oct.  6,  1635  ;  and  was  from  the  first  a  man  of  prominence.  After  visiting  all  the  new 
towns  of  the  infant  colony,  he  settled  at  Salem.  Here  his  work  was  universally  beneficial.  Under 
his  ministry  more  were  added  to  the  church  in  five  years  than  in  eighteen  under  his  successor.  The 
wounds  in  the  church  were  healed.  But  Peter  had  an  aptitude  for  the  practical  side  of  life.  He 
did  much  to  develop  the  manufactures  of  Salem,  such  as  salt,  glass,  ship-building,  and  hemp  rais- 
ing. He  showed  great  success  in  promoting  trade ;  so  that  at  the  earnest  solicitation  of  the  govern- 
ment, and  with  much  reluctance  on  the  part  of  his  people,  he  was  persuaded  to  go  to  England, 
Aug.  3,  1641,  as  one  of  the  agents  for  the  Colony.  His  connection  with  the  Salem  church  was 
ended.  Arrived  in  England  just  as  the  civil  conflict  was  about  to  begin,  his  talents  soon  secured 
him  prominence  on  the  Puritan  side.  He  almost  immediately  became  secretary  to  Cromwell,  and 
then  a  popular  chaplain  in  the  army.  His  fame  was  soon  that  of  one  of  the  most  effective  of  the 
king's  opponents.  In  April,  1646,  he  preached  before  the  Houses  of  Parliament,  a  body  which 
estimated  his  general  services  to  the  cause  to  be  worthy  of  a  pension.  His  work  as  army  chaplain 
took  him  with  Cromwell's  expedition  to  Ireland  in  1649.  Parliament  then,  1651,  employed  him  on 
a  commission  to  revise  the  laws.  1654  saw  him  one  of  the  tryers  of  candidates  for  ministerial  ap- 
pointments. By  1658  Peter  was  chaplain  to  the  garrison  of  Dunkirk.  At  the  Restoration  the  hatred 
of  the  royalist  party  against  Peter  showed  its  intensity.  Absurd  rumors  were  circulated,  such  as. 
that  he  was  the  actual  executioner  of  Charles  I.  ;  he  was  charged  with  high  treason  for  having  had. 


THE    COVENANT   OF    1636  III 

him  the  church  enjoyed  a  degree  of  growth,  unity,  and  prosperity 
in  marked  contrast  to  its  distraction  under  Williams.  And  as  one 
of  the  earliest  steps  toward  this  desirable  result,  probably  at 
Peter's  ordination,  the  covenant  of  1629  was  renewed,  and  very 
much  enlarged  by  the  addition  of  nine  specific  articles  of  promise, 
several  of  which  were  more  or  less  directly  occasioned  by  the  late 
disturbances.  In  view  of  what  we  have  seen,  it  is  no  wonder  that 
the  members  of  the  church  felt  it  incumbent  upon  them  to  pledge 
themselves  "  to  walke  with  our  brethren  and  sisters  .  .  .  avoyd- 
ing  all  jelousies,  suspitions,  backbyteings,  censurings,  provoakings, 
secrete  risings  of  spirite  against  them."  '  Nor  was  it  unnatural 
that  their  repentance  for  their  opposition  to  the  other  churches 
and  the  magistrates  of  the  colony  should  find  expression  in  a 
promise  to  act  "  noe  way  sleighting  our  sister  Churches,  but  use- 
ing  theire  Counsell  as  need  shalbe";^  and  "to  carrye  our  selves  in 
all  lawfull  obedience,  to  those  that  are  over  us,  in  Church  or  Com- 
monweale."  ^  Truly  it  is  the  sense  of  contrition  for  disagreement 
and  ill-feeling  that  finds  expression  in  this  enlarged  and  particu- 
larized pledge  of  fellowship. 

But  other  changes  brought  addition  also  to  the  written  sym- 
bols of  the  Salem  church.  Their  pastor,  Peter,  ended  his  ministry 
in  1641;  and  was  succeeded,  in  the  full  duties  of  ministerial  office, 
by  one  who,  since  March,  1640,  had  been  his  colleague  as  teacher, 
Edward  Norris.*  It  was  while  Norris  was  fulfilling  a  respected 
but  not  very  eventful  ministry  that  the  new  sect  of  the  Quakers 
first  made  their  appearance  in  Salem,  in  1656.^     At  this  time  they 

an  active  share  in  the  king's  death.  On  Oct.  i6,  1660,  he  was  executed  with  all  the  barbarous  cir- 
cumstances then  attendant  upon  the  punishment  for  treason.  Among  the  many  sources  of  inform- 
ation, or  of  defamation,  the  following  may  be  cited:  Harris,  Historical  anci  Critical  Account  0/ 
the  Lit>es  .  .  .  of  James  I .  and  Charles  I.,  etc.  New  ed.  London,  1814,  I:  ix-li ;  Bentley, 
Descrip.  Salem,  va  1  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc.^W:  250-254;  'EX\oX.,Biog.  Diet.  .  .  .  0/ the  First 
Settlers  .  .  .  in  N.  E.,  Boston,  1809,  pp.  372-377;  Brook,  Lives,  III:  350-369;  Young,  Chron. 
.  .  .  Mass.,  pp.  134,  135;  Felt,  Memoir,  in  ^V.  E.  Hist,  and  Genealogical  Kegister,  V:  9-20, 
231-238,  275-294,  415-439  (with  portrait),  (1851  and  separately  same  year) ;  Felt,  Ecclesiastical  Hist. 
N.  £.,  Boston,  1855,  I:  228,  229,  267,  426,  434-436;  Sprague,  Annals  Am.  Pulpit,  I:  70-75;  Pal- 
frey, Hist.  X.  E.,  I  :  582-584,  11 :  426-42S  ;  White,  N.  E.  Cong.,  287,  288  ;  Appleton's  Cyclop.  Am. 
Biog.,  IV;  741,  742. 

>  Art.  3.  2  Art.  6.  3  Art.  7. 

*  See  White,  X.  E.  Congregationalism,  pp.  289,  290. 

*  Bentley,  /  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  VI :  255,  says  1657 ;  but  Felt,  Annals  0/  Salem,  2d  ed., 
Salem,  1S49,  II :  580,  puts  the  beginninrrs  of  prosecution  of  Quakers  in  Salem  in  July,  165C. 


112  CREED    DEVELOPMENT   AT    SALEM 

were  far  from  being  the  staid  and  law-abiding  citizens  who,  in  our 
own  day,  have  made  the  name  of  Quaker  synonymous  with  honesty, 
piety,  and  good  order;  and  if  we  are  sometimes  tempted  to  think 
that  the  fathers  dealt  out  hard  measure  to  them,  it  is  w^ell  to  re- 
member that  the  provocation  was  great  and  such  as  would  attract 
the  speedy  notice  of  law  in  our  own  century.'  It  was  while  these 
new  elements  of  disturbance  were  turmoiling  the  Salem  community 
that  Norris  died,  December  23,  1659.  A  few  months  earlier  had 
seen  the  almost  chance  beginning  of  the  w^ork  of  his  successor, 
John  Higginson,^  the  son  of  the  first  teacher,  and  the  connecting 
link  between  the  founders  of  New  England  and  the  historians  at 
the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century/  Higginson's  settlement  fol- 
lowed more  than  a  year  of  ministerial  supply,  August  29,  1660. 
The  influence  of  the  new  ministry  speedily  showed  itself  in  the 
toning  up  of  the  church's  affairs.  The  Quaker  disturbances  con- 
tinued,^ and  other  questions,  especially  the  great  discussion  regard- 
ing the  proper  subjects  of  baptism,  occupied  men's  minds. ^  Hig- 
ginson  evidently  saw  the  need  of  more  careful  doctrinal  instruction, 
and  therefore,  less  than  a  month  after  his  ordination,"  and  probably 


1  Compare,  among  many  sources  of  information  regarding  the  New  England  Quakers,  the 
following:  Palfrey, ///.?/.  A'.  E.,  II :  452-485  ;  Dexter,  As  to  Roger  U'iiliains,  pp.  124-141,  with  cita- 
tions from  Quaker  documents  and  historians.  Ellis,  The  Puritan  Age  .  .  .  in  .  .  .  Ulass., 
Boston,  1888,  pp.  408-491. 

2  John  Higginson  was  bom  in  Augtist,  1616,  in  England,  from  which  land  his  parents  did  not 
remove  till  1629.  He  appears  to  have  been  an  early  member  of  the  Salem  church,  uniting  with  it 
during  the  year  of  his  arrival.  His  father  dying  in  1630,  John  was  aided  by  the  ministers  and 
magistrates  toward  an  education.  By  April,  1636,  before  he  was  20,  he  was  chaplain  at  the  Fort  at 
Saybrook,  Conn.;  a  post  which  he  occupied  about  four  years.  In  1637  he  was  one  of  the  scribes  at 
the  Hutchinson  Synod.  By  1641  he  was  a  teacher  in  Hartford  and  a  student  under  Thomas 
Hooker.  He  thence  removed  to  Guilford,  Conn.,  in  1643,  and  was  one  of  the  prominent  members 
of  the  church  there  and  assistant  to  its  pastor,  Henry  Whitfield.  Here  he  remained,  in  sole  pastoral 
service  after  1651,  till  1659,  when  he  started  for  England.  On  his  voyage  the  vessel  was  forced  to 
put  into  Salem.  Here  he  was  asked  to  preach,  and  agreed  to  remain  a  year  —  March  or  April,  1659. 
In  March,  1660,  he  was  called  to  a  permanent  settlement,  and  was  ordained  August  29  of  that  year, 
by  the  hands  of  two  deacons  and  a  brother  of  the  church's  fellowship,  though  in  the  presence  of 
the  ministers  and  representatives  of  the  neighbor-churches.  Here  he  continued  as  minister  till  his 
death,  Dec.  9,  1708,  92  years  of  age.  His  good  sense,  and  his  familiarity  with  the  elder  generation, 
gave  him  much  weight  throughout  the  colony.  See  Bentley,  Desc.  of  Salem,  I  Coll.  Mass.  Hist. 
Soc,  VI:  259-272;  Felt,  Annals  of  Salem.,  passim;  Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  New  England,  I:  253, 
312,517,519-521,11:  218,224;  Sprague,  Annals  of  t/ie  Ajn.  Pulpit,!:  91-93;  White,  N.  E.  Cong., 
45-96,  290-292. 

3  As  illustrative,  see  his  Attestation  to  the  Magnalia,  ed.  1S53-5,  1 :  13-18. 

4  See  Felt,  A  nnals  of  Salem,  2d  ed.,  II :  580-5S7,  for  instances  between  1656  and  1669. 

5  See  later  in  this  volume,  in  connection  with  the  Synod  of  1662  (Chapter  XI). 
*  Sept.  10,  1660.     Church  records  in  White,  X.  E.  Cong.,  p.  47. 


THE    QUAKER    CLAUSE    OF    1661  II3 

at  his  motion,  the  church  voted  "  that  Mr.  Cotton's  Catechism'  be 
used  in  their  families  in  teaching  their  children  in  order  to  public 
catechising  in  the  congregation." 

Soon  after  the  beginning  of  this  teaching,  the  brethren  were 
induced  not  only  solemnly  to  renew  their  former  covenant  but  to 
add  to  the  nine  articles,  which  had  come  down  from  Peter's  day,  a 
tenth,  pledging  the  members  "  to  take  heed  and  beware  of  the 
leaven  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Quakers.""  Thus,  by  degrees,  and 
chiefly  owing  to  the  rise  of  errors  in  faith  or  practice  in  the  church 
itself,  the  single  sentence  of  1629  became  expanded  into  a  fairly 
elaborate  and  particularized  rule. 

Mr.  Higginson  was  evidently  a  believer  in  the  value  of  written 
creeds,  and  desirous  of  having  the  customs  of  the  church  which 
had  been  handed  down  from  the  beginning  put  in  documentary 
form.  At  the  same  time  he  was  a  warm  advocate,  in  company 
with  many  of  the  best  men  in  New  England  at  that  day,  of  what  is 
known  as  the  half-way  covenant, —  a  system  which  to  his  mind,  as 
to  that  of  many  others,  was  designed  to  give  the  church  a  larger 
hold  upon  its  children  and  ultimately  to  bring  a  large  portion  of 
them  into  the  enjoyment  of  full  spiritual  privilege.^  But  to  accom- 
plish these  results  Higginson  clearly  felt  that  improved  instruction 
by  parents  at  home,  and  a  careful  examination  of  all  applicants  for 
church  membership  by  the  elders,  were  needed.^  All  these  consid- 
erations had  increased  force  when  the  half-way  principles,  some  of 
which  the  church  had  already  adopted,  were  made  part  of  the 
recognized  ecclesiastical  usage  of  the  colony  by  the  Synod  of  1662, 


1  /.  f.,  Cotton's  Milk  /or  Babes,  London,  1646,  long  a  popular  catechism  in  New  England. 
A  heliotype  copy  of  the  title-page  may  be  found  in  Ellis,  Hist.  First  Ck.  in  Boston,  Boston,  1881, 
between  pp.  36,  37. 

*  This  occurred  March  6, 1661.     See  page  118  of  this  chapter. 

3  That  this  view  of  the  probable  effects  of  the  half-way  covenant  system,  erroneous  as  it  may 
seem  to  us,  was  held  by  Higginson,  is  clear  from  his  record  of  the  "propositions  concerning  the 
state  of  the  children  of  members"  agreed  upon  by  the  church  Sept.  9,  1661 ;  and  his  speech  urging 
the  adoption  of  the  practices  recommended  by  the  Synod  of  1662,  delivered  in  July,  1665  ;  see  Church 
records,  in  White,  N'.  E.  Cong.,  pp.  49,  50,  60,  61. 

*  The  "  propositions"  of  1661  declare  the  belief  of  the  Salem  church  in  the  membership  of  all 
baptized  children  in  the  covenant  fellowship  of  the  church,  so  as  to  be  under  the  church's  watch 
and  care.  They  are  silent  on  the  other  great  question,  as  to  whether  these  covenanted  children  of 
the  church,  who  have  not  yet  made  profession  of  personal  regeneration,  can  claim  baptism  for  their 
children.  That  further  principle  was  adopted  July  18,  1665,  and  put  in  practice  on  the  30th.  ^<•- 
cords.  Ibid. 


114  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

and  fully  put  into  practice  at  Salem  in  1665.  With  these  aims  in 
view,  therefore,  we  find  Higginson  promising  the  church,  at  a 
meeting,  November  6,  1664,  when  the  recommendations  of  the  Sy- 
nod of  1662  were  publicly  read,  that  "he  would  communicate  unto 
the  brethren  a  short  writing  as  a  help  for  the  practice  of  the  Sy- 
nod's propositions.'"  It  was  not  till  nearly  a  year  later,  however, 
October  5,  1665,  that  the  pastor  was  able  to  announce  to  the  church 
that  his  "  writing  "  was  printed  and  ready  for  distribution.^  The 
document  has  fortunately  come  down  to  our  day.  The  little  pam- 
phlet bears  on  its  face  the  evidence  of  its  purpose  ;  it  is  expressly 
declared  to  be  A  Directioii  for  a  piiblick  Profession  in  ike  Chitrcli 
Assembly,  after  private  examination  by  the  Elders ;  and  it  contains  a 
creed  and  a  covenant  answering  to  the  documents  which  modern 
Congregationalism  would  understand  by  those  now  somewhat  tech- 
nical terms.  The  phraseology  of  the  confession  of  faith,  modeled 
on  that  of  the  Westminster  catechism,  is  of  course  Trinitarian 
and  Calvinistic  ;  and,  while  there  is  no  ground  for  the  assertion, 
which  some  have  made,  that  this  creed  was  adopted  by  the  church 
in  1629,^  there  can  certainly  be  no  impropriety  in  concluding  that 
the  opinion  which  John  Higginson  expressed  in  the  title  of  the  Di- 
rection, thirty-six  years  after  the  formation  of  the  church, — "  Being 
the  same  for  Substance  which  was  propounded  to,  and  agreed  upon 
by  the  Church  of  Salem  at  their  beginning,  the  sixth  of  the  sixth 
iMoneth,  1629," — warrants  us  in  holding  the  creed  to  be  fairly 
representative  of  the  type  of  theologic  belief  which  the  candi- 
dates for  membership  in  the  Salem  church  were  expected  to  mani- 
fest to  "  the  elders  "  from  the  beginning.  As  such,  it  may  in  a 
true  sense  be  taken  as  representative  of  the  kind  of  doctrinal  test 
applied  to  members  entering  this  first  Puritan  church  in  New  Eng- 
land during  the  first  half  century  of  its  existence.  But  while  this 
aftirmation  is  doubtless  warranted,  too  much  must  not  be  claimed 
regarding  this  document  of  1665  itself.  A  careful  reading  of  the 
church  records  regarding  it  shows   that,  unlike  the  covenants  of 


'  Church  records.  Ibid.,  59. 

2  liud.,  62. 

3  See  ante,  p.  95. 


THE    DIRECTION    OF    1 665  II5 

1629  and  1636,  the  Direction  was  not  formally  adopted  by  the 
church.  It  remained  a  recognized,  but,  in  some  sense,  private, 
guide,  and  was  designed  primarily  for  the  use  of  the  candidates  for 
church  privileges  under  the  half-way  covenant,  and  for  those  who 
would  pass  from  the  baptized  membership  of  the  church  to  its  full 
communion.  For  those  not  already  of  the  church  by  baptism,  who 
desired  full  membership,  the  older  method  of  relation  and  personal 
profession  was  still  employed.'  The  steps  have  thus  been  pointed 
out  by  which  the  Salem  church  passed  from  a  brief  and  simple 
covenant  to  an  elaborate  compact  ;  and  to  the  use,  if  not  the  for- 
mal adoption,  of  a  somewhat  extended  creed.  The  process  was 
not  one  of  change  of  doctrine,  save  perhaps  on  the  question  of 
baptism  as  applied  to  the  offspring  of  the  "  children  of  the  church." 
It  was  one  of  increasing  written  definition,  a  definition  induced  by 
the  rise  of  errors  and  differences  of  belief  in  the  church  or  commu- 
nity. In  this  matter  the  story  of  the  Salem  church  is  typical  of 
New  England  ecclesiastical  development  as  a  whole. ^ 

'  White  has  pointed  out,  and  the  church  records  amply  warrant  him  in  the  assertion,  that 
"children  of  the  covenant  "  since  members  of  the  church  already  by  baptism,  were  admitted  to  full 
communion  after  e.xamination  by  the  pastor  and  a  public  confession  and  renewal  of  covenant  before 
the  church — tut  luithout  church  vote.  It  is  for  such  confession  and  covenanting,  after  examina- 
tion, that  the  Z'/Vt'c//o«  was  designed.  On  the  other  hand  "non-members"  were  voted  into  full 
communion  on  the  old  terms.  An  instance  or  two  may  illustrate.  "  1667.  At  a  Church  meeting,  4th 
of  5th  month.  John  Gidney,  Sam.  Archer,  jun.,  Jo.  Peas,  Martha  Barten,  Martha  Foster,  were 
presented  before  the  Church,  the  Pastor  expressed  himself  that  after  e.xamination  he  approved  of 
them  as  able  to  examine  themselves,  and  discern  the  Lord's  body,  they  professing  their  consent  to 
the  Confession  of  Faith  and  Covenant  read  unto  them  [/.  <?.,  the  Direction  of  1665],  they  had  their 
liberty  to  partake  of  the  Lord's  Supper,  as  other  children  of  the  Covenant  formerly  [/.  t'.,  since  the 
full  adoption  of  the  half-way  principles  in  1665,  White,  67].  Goodie  Guppa,  Eliz.  Clifford,  Mary 
Merit,  being  non-members,  having  been  propounded  a  month,  and  no  exception  against  them,  they 
made  their  confession  and  were  on  the  Lord's  day  following  received  unto  membership  by  vote  of 
the  Church,  and  by  their  own  entering  into  Covenant."  Chtirch  records^  White,  71.  How  this 
confession  was  still  made,  in  the  admission  of  non-members,  is  shown  by  a  further  entry:  "  1678.  At 
a  Church  Meeting,  March  g,  Sam.  Eburn,  [etc.]  .  .  .  these  eight  .  .  .  making  their  pro- 
fession of  faith  and  repentance  in  their  own  way,  some  by  speech,  others  by  writing,  which  was 
read  for  them,  they  were  admitted  to  membership  in  this  Church,  by  consent  of  the  brethren,  they 
engaging  themselves  in  the  Covenant."     Ibid.^  83. 

2  The  adoption  of  new  forms  and  covenants  by  the  Salem  church  did  not  stop  here.  A  new 
covenant  "more  accomodated  to  our  times  "  was  adopted,  apparently  in  addition  to  the  old  cove- 
nant, April  15,  1680,  in  consequence  of  the  exhortations  of  the  "  Reforming  Synod  "  of  1679. 
Church  records.  White,  pp.  84,  85.  The  text  was  printed  at  Boston  in  that  year  (Thomas,  Hist. 
Printing  in  America,  .Albany,  1874,  II  :  323)  ;  and  exists  in  a  MS.  copy,  among  the  records  of  the 
Tabernacle  Church,  Salem.  This  text  may  be  found  in  White,  N.  E.  Cong.,  pp.  186,  187,  207-209, 
in  rather  a  disjointed  form,  from  the  Tabernacle  Ch.  Cententtial  Discourse,  by  Worcester,  1835, 
Appendix  U  ;  and  the  Salem  Gazette  of  Apl.  6,  1854.  As  it  is,  however,  largely  devotional  and 
penitential,  and  presents  nothing  that  is  new  in  doctrine  or  practice,  I  have  thought  best  to  omit  it. 


THE    SALEM    SYMBOLS 

The  Covenant  of  1629 

We  Covenant  with  the  Lord  and  one  with  an  other;  and  doe 
bynd  our  selves  in  the  presence  of  God,  to  walke  together  in  all 
his  waies,  according  as  he  is  pleased  to  reveale  himself  unto  us 
in  his  Blessed  word  of  truth.' 

The  Enlarged  Covenant  of   1636^^ 

Gather  my  Saints  together  unto  me^  that  have  made  a  Cov- 
enant with  me  by  sacrifyce.     Psa.  50:5  :  ■* 

Wee  whose  names  are  here  under  written,  members  of  the 
present   Church  of  Christ  in  Salem,  having  found  by  sad  experi- 


1  This  simplicity  is  characteristic  of  the  early  covenants.  It  seems  probable  that  the  essence 
of  the  covenant  of  the  London-Amsterdam  (Johnson's)  church  has  been  preserved  for  us  in  the 
e.xamination  of  Daniel  Buck,  scrivener,  in  1593,  who  being  inquired  of  as  to  "what  promise  hee 
made  when  he  came  first  to  y'  Societie  he  annswereth  &  sayth  that  he  made  y»  Protestation  :  that 
he  wold  walke  with  the  rest  of  y™  so  longe  as  they  did  walke  in  the  way  of  the  Lorde,  &  so  farr  as 
might  be  warranted  by  the  Word  of  God."  Harleian  IMS.  7042,  communicated  to  me  by  Dr.  Dex- 
ter. See  also  his  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  265  ;  and  Strype,  A  nnals  IV.  No.  CXV,  ed.  1824,  p.  244.  A  sug- 
gestion as  to  the  possible  original  covenant  of  the  Mayflower  church  has  already  been  made,  see 
ante,  p.  83.  The  covenant  of  Henry  Jacobs'  church  organized  in  1616  in  London,  and  the  first 
Congregational  church  to  gain  a  permanent  foothold  in  that  city,  is  thus  described  ;  they  "sol- 
emnly covenanted  with  each  other  in  the  presence  of  Almighty  God,  to  walk  together  in  all  God's 
ways  and  ordinances,  according  as  he  had  already  revealed,  or  should  further  make  them  known  to 
them."  Neal,  Hist.  0/  the  Puritans,  Toulmin's  ed.,  Bath,  1794,  II  :  100.  Hanbury,  Mejnorials, 
1 :  292,  293.  No  covenant  of  the  Dorchester  company,  whose  church  was  organized  in  March  1630,  at 
Plymouth,  Eng.,  and  emigrated  bodily  to  our  shores,  has  been  preserved  earlier  in  date  than  1647 
{given  later  in  this  work).  But  the  next  in  order  of  our  New  England  churches,  that  of  Boston, 
had  a  covenant  as  simple  as  that  of  Salem.  (See  Ch.  VII  of  this  work.)  The  Charlestown  church, 
of  Nov.  2,  1632,  has  the  following  covenant  :  "Wee  whose  names  are  heer  written  Being  by  his 
most  wise  and  good  providence  brought  together,  and  desirous  to  vnite  o'  selus  into  one  Congre- 
gation or  Church,  vnder  o"'  Lord  lesus  Christ  our  Head :  In  such  sort  as  becometh  all  those  whom 
he  hath  Redeemed  and  sanctified  vnto  himselfe.  Doe  heer  soUemnly  and  Religeously  as  in  his  most 
holy  presence,  Promice  and  bynde  o'  selus  to  walke  in  all  o'  waves  according  to  the  Rules  of  the 
Gospell,  and  in  all  sinceer  conformity  to  his  holy  ordinances :  and  in  mutuall  Love  and  Respect 
each  to  other;  so  near  as  God  shall  give  vs  grace."  Photographic  fac-simile  in  The  Conivieinora- 
tion  of  the  s^oth  Anniversary  of  the  First  Church,  Charlestown,  Mass.  Privately  Printed, 
1882.  It  is  evident,  therefore,  that  in  simplicity  and  brevity  the  Salem  covenant  conforms  to  the 
general  custom  of  our  earliest  Congregational  churches.  A  seeming  exception  is  perhaps  the  cov- 
enant of  the  Watertown  church  of  July  30,  1630  {Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  I  :  377  ;  Punchard,  IV  : 
43,  44)  ;  but  the  exception  is  more  apparent  than  real,  for  though  the  form  is  long  and  descriptive, 
the  content  is  simple. 

"  From  White's  text  of  the  copy  in  the  church-book  of  1660-1. 

3  Fiske's  copy,  Hist.  Coll.  Essex  Inst.,  I  .  37,  38,  inserts  jvw,  i.  e.  those.  I  have  not  noticed 
variations  in  spelling  between  Fiske  and  the  church-book. 

■i  A  favorite  text,  John  Higginson  preached  on  it  at  the  renewing  of  this  covenant  in  1661. 
Ch.  records.  White,  p.  48. 


(116) 


TEXT   OF   THE   COVENANT  II7 

ence  how  dangerous  it  is  to  sitt  loose  to  tlie  Covenant  wee  make 
with  our  God  :  and  how  apt  wee  are  to  wander  into  by  pathes, 
even  to  the  looseing  of  our  first  aimes  in  entring  into  Church 
fellowship  :  Doe  therefore  solemnly  in  the  presence  of  the  Eter- 
nall  God,  both  for  our  own  comforts,  and  those  which'  shall  or 
maye  be  joyned  unto  us,  renewe  that  Church  Covenant  we  find 
this  Church  bound  unto  at  theire  first  beginning,  viz:  That  We 
Covenant  with  the  Lord  and  one  with  an  other;  and  doe  bynd  our 
selves  in  the  presence  of  God,  to  walke  together  in  all  his  waies, 
according  as  he  is  pleased  to  reveale  himself  unto  us  in  his 
Blessed  word  of  truth.'-  And  doe  more  explicitely  in  the  name 
and  feare  of  God,  profess  and  protest  to  walke  as  followeth  through 
the  power  and  grace  of  our  Lord  Jesus/ 

1  first  wee  avowe  the  Lord  to  be  our  God,  and  our  selves 
his  people  in  the  truth  and  simplicitie  of  our  spirits. 

2  We  give  our  selves  to  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  word 
of  his  grace,  fore  the  teaching,  ruleing  and  sanctifyeing  of  us  in 
matters  of  worship,  and  Conversation,  resolveing  to  cleave  to  him 
alone  for  life  and  glorie  ;  and  oppose  all  contrarie  wayes,  can- 
nons and  constitutions  of  men  in  his  worship. 

3  Wee  promise  to  walke  with  our  brethren  and  sisters  in  this 
Congregation  with  all  watchfullnes  and  tendernes,  avoydin^  all 
jelousies,  suspitions,  backbyteings,  censurings,  provoakings,  se- 
crete risings  of  spirite  against  them;  but  in  all  offences  to  follow 
the  rule  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  and  to  beare  and  forbeare,  give  and 
forgive  as  he  hath  taught  us. 

4  In  publick  or  in  private,  we  will  willingly  doe  nothing  to 
the  ofence  of  the  Church  but  will  be  willing  to  take  advise  for 
our  selves  and  ours  as  ocasion  shalbe  presented. 

5  Wee  will  not  in  the  Congregation  be  forward  eyther  to 
shew  oure  owne  gifts  or  parts  in  speaking  or  scrupling,  or  there 
discover  the  fayling  of  oure  brethren  or  sisters  butt  atend  an 
orderly  cale  there  unto  ;  knowing  how  much  the  Lord  may  be 
dishonoured,  and  his  Gospell  in  the  profession  of  it,  sleighted,  by 
our  distempers,  and  weaknesses  in  publyck. 

6  Wee  bynd  our  selves  to  studdy  the  advancement  of  the 
(iospell  in  all  truth  and  peace,  both  in  regard  of  those  that  are 
within,  or  without,  noe  way  sleighting  bur  sister  Churches,  but 
useing  theire   Counsell  as  need  shalbe  :    nor  laying  a   stumbling 


1  Fiske  reads  ■w/to. 

*  This  sentence,  the  original  covenant  of  the  church,  ends  in   Fiske's  copy  with  a  comma. 

5  Fiske  reads  j't'  /te/^e  b"  potix  0/  ye  Lord  Jesus. 


Il8  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT   SALEM 

block  before  any,  noe  not  the  Indians,  whose  good  we  desire  to 
promote,  and  see  to  converse,  as  we  may  avoyd  the  verrye  ap- 
pearance of  evill. 

7  We  hearbye  promise  to  carrye  our  selves  in  all  lawfull 
obedience,  to  those  that  are  over  us,  in  Church  or  Common- 
weale,"  knowing  how  well  pleasing  it  will  be  to  the  Lord,  that 
they  should  have  incouragement  in  theire  places,  by  our  not 
greiveing  theyre  spirites  through  our  Irregularities.^ 

8  Wee  resolve  to  approve  our  selves  to  the  Lord  in  our 
perticular  calings,  shunning  ydleness  as  the  bane  of  any  state, 
nor  will  wee  deale  hardly,  or  oppressingly  with  any,  wherein  we 
are  the  Lord's  stewards  :' 

9  alsoe  promyseing  to  our  best  abilitie  to  teach  our  children 
and  servants,  the  knowledg  of  God^  and  his  will,  that  they  may 
serve  him  also  ;  and  all  this,  not  by  any  strength  of  our  owne, 
but  by  the  Lord  Christ,  whose  bloud  we  desire  may  sprinckle  this 
our  Covenant  made  in  his  name.^ 


The  Anti-Quaker  Article  of   1660-1° 

This  Covenant'  was  renewed  by  the  Church  on  a  sollemne 
day  of  Humiliation  6  of  i  moneth  1660/  When  also  considering 
the  power  of  Temptation  amongst  us  by  reason  of  y^  Quakers 
doctrine  to  the  leavening  of  some  in  the  place  where  we  are  and 
endangering  of  others,  doe  see  cause  to  remember  the  Admoni- 
tion of  our  Saviour  Christ  to  his  disciples  Math.  16.  Take  heed 
and  beware  of  y'  leaven  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Pharisees  and  doe 
judge  so  farre  as  we  understand  it  y'  y^  Quakers  doctrine  is  as 
bad  or  worse  than  that  of  y^  Pharisees  ;  Therefore  we  doe  Cov- 
ennant  by  the  help  of  Jesus  Christ  to  take  heed  and  beware  of 
the  leaven  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Quakers. 


1  Fiske  reads  common  wealth. 

2  This  is  the  article  to  which  Morton  refers  (Mcmoriall,  p.  75  ;  Davis  ed,  pp.  145,  146)  :  "  And 
because  they  foresaw  that  this  Wilderness  might  be  looked  upon  as  a  place  of  Liberty,  and  there- 
fore might  in  time  be  troubled  with  erroneous  spirits,  therefore  they  did  put  in  one  Article  into 
the  Co7ifcssion  of  Faith  on  purpose  about  the  Ditty  and  Power  of  the  ISIagistrate  in  blatters  of 
Religion."  He  attributes  its  adoption,  mistakenly,  to  1629  —  his  own  work  was  published  40  years 
later — but  it  fits  in  admirably  with  the  repentant  spirit  of  the  church  for  its  actions  under  the  lead 
of  Roger  Williams.     See  ante,  p.  109. 

3  In  Fiske's  copy  this  article  an^  the  following  are  joined  in  one. 
*  Fiske  reads  _)v  Lord. 

'  Fiske  reads  7ve  desire  should  be  sprinkle.      This  our  covena7it.,  etc. 

'  From  White's  text  of  the  copy  in  the  church-book  of  1660-1.     N.  E.  Cong.,  p.  14. 

'  I.e.,  the  enlarged  covenant  of  1636,  to  which  it  is  immediately  appended. 

>*  In  modern  reckoning  1661.    See  ante,  p.  113.    The  article  was  prepared  in  1660  and  "  added  " 


TEXT   OK   THE    DIRECTION  II9 

TnK  Direction  ok  1665' 

A 

DIRECTION 

FOR 

A  PUBLICK  PROFESSION 

In  the  Church  Assembly,  after  private  Examination 

by  the  ELDERS. 

Which   Direction   is   taken   out   of  the  Scripture,  and  Points    unto 

that  Faith  and  Covenant  contained  in  the  Scripture. 

Being    the   same   for   Substance  which    was    propounded    to,   and 

agreed  upon  by  the  Church  of  Salem  at  their  beginning. 

the  sixth  of  the  sixth  Moneth,   1629. 


///  the  Preface  to  the  Declaration  of  the  Faith  owned  and  professed  by 
the  Comrrezationall  Churches  ///  England. 


The  Genuine  use  of  a  Confession  of  Faith  is,  that  under  the 
same  Form  of  Words  they  express  the  substance  of  the  same 
common  Salvation  or  unity  of  their  Faith.  Accordingly  it  is  to 
be  looked  upon  as  a  fit  meanes,  whereby  to  express  that  their 
Common  Faith  and  Salvation,  and  not  to  be  made  use  of  as  an 
imposition  upon  any." 

[2]  VV^  Beseech  you  Brethren  to  kno7C>  them  that  labour 
among  you,  and  are  over  you  in  the  Lord,  and  admonish  you  and  to 
esteem  them  very  highly  in  love  for  their  work  sake  and  be  at  peace 
among  your  selves,     i  Thess.  5.  12,  13. 

Obey  them  that  have  the  rule  over  you  and  submit  your  selves, 
for  they  7vatch  for  your  soules,  as  they  that  must  gii'c  an  account,  that 
they  may  do  it  with  joy  and  not  with  grief,  for  that  is  unprofitable  for 
you,  Heb.  13.  17. 

Who  is  that  icise  and  faithfull  steivard,  ichom  his  Lord  shall  make 
Ruler  over  his  houshold,  to  give  them  their  portion  of  meat  in  due  season, 
Luk.  12.  42. 


March  6-16,  1661.  Church-records,  White,  p.  48.  The  date  in  the  te.\t  is  not  an  error,  however. 
The  year  was  held  to  begin  March  25,  and  March  was  therefore  the  first  month,  though  its  first  24 
days  were  held  to  belong  to  the  previous  year.  Vet  the  usage  in  dating  during  the  early  days  of 
March  was  not  absolutely  uniform,  some  even  then  would  have  written  1661.  See  Preface  to 
Savage's  Winthrop's/cwrwrt/,  1  :  xi. 

1  Te.\t  from  original. 

2  Savoy  Declaration,  ed.  1658.     Preface,  pp.  iii,  iv. 


120  CREED   DEVELOPxMENT   AT    SALEM 

One  Faith,  one  Baptism.     Eph.  4.  5. 

The  Common  Faith.     Tit.  i.  4. 

The  common  Salvation.     Jude  Ver.  3. 

Christ  Jesus  the  high  priest  of  our  Profession,  Heb.  3.  11. 

The  profession  of  our  Faith.     Heb.  10.  22. 

One  shall  say  I  am  the  Lords,  Isai.  44.  5. 

Hold  fast  the  form  of  sound  words.     2  Tim.  i.  13. 

The  form  of  Knotvledge,  and  of  the  truth,  Rom.  2.  20. 

The  form  of  Doctrine  delivered  unto  you,  Rom.  6.  17. 

[3 J      THE    CONFESSION    OF    FAITH. 

I  do  believe  with  my  heart  and  confess  with  my  mouth. 
Concerning  God. 

THat  there  is  but  one  only  true  God  in  three  persons,  the  Father, 
the  Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  each  of  them  God,  and  all  of 
them  one  and  the  same  Infinite,  Eternall  God,  most  Wise,  Holy, 
Just,  Mercifull  and  Blessed  for  ever. 

Concerning  the  Works  of  God. 

THat  this  God  is  the  Maker,  Preserver,  and  Governour  of  all 
things  according  to  the  counsel  of  his  own  Will,  and  that  God 
made  man  in  his  own  Image,  in  Knowledge,  Holiness  and  Right- 
eousness. 

Concerning  the  fall  of  Man. 

THat  Adam  by  transgressing  the  Command  of   God,  fell  from 
God  and  brought  himself  and  his  posterity  into  a  state  of  Sin 
and  death,  under  the  Wrath  and  Curse  of   God,  which  I  do  believe 
to  be  my  own  condition  by  nature  as  well  as  any  other. 
[4]  Concerning  Jesus  Christ. 

THat  God  sent  his  Son  into  the  World,  who  for  our  sakes  be- 
came man,  that  he  might  redeem  and  save  us  by  his  Obedi- 
ence unto  death,  and  that  he  arose  from  the  dead,  ascended  unto 
Heaven  and  sitteth  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  from  whence  he  shall 
come  to  judge  the  World. 

Concerning  the  Holy  Ghost. 

THat  God  the  holy  Ghost  hath  fully  revealed  the  Doctrine  of 
Christ  and  will  of  God  in  the  Scriptures  of  the  Old  and  New 
Testament,  which  are  the  Word  of  God,  the  perfect,  perpetuall  and 
only  Rule  of  our  Faith  and  Obedience. 

Concerning  the  Benefits  we  have  by  Christ. 

THat  the  same  Spirit  by  Working  Faith   in  Gods  Elect,  applyeth 
unto  them  Christ  with  all  his  Benefits   of  Justification,  and 
Sanctification,  unto  Salvation,  in  the  use  of  those  Ordinances  which 


TEXT   OF   THE    DIRECTION  121 

God  hath  appointed  in  his  written  word,  which  therefore  ought  to 
be  observed  by  us  until  the  coming  of  Christ. 

Coiiccr/iiiig  the  CJiiircJi  of  Christ. 

THat  all  true  Believers  being  united  unto  Christ  as  the  Head, 
make  up  one  Misticall  Church  which  is  the  Body  of  Christ,  the 
members  wherof  having  fellowship  with  the  Father  Son  and  Holy- 
Ghost  by  Faith,  and  one  with  an  other  in  love,  doe  receive  here 
upon  earth  forgiveness  of  Sinnes,  with  the  life  of  grace,  and  at  the 
Resurrection  of  the  Body,  they  shall  receive  everlasting  life.  Amen. 
[5]  THE   COVENANT: 

I  do  heartily  take  and  avouch  this  one  God  who  is  made  known 
to  us  in  the  Scripture,  by  the  Name  of  God  the  Father,  and 
God  the  Son  even  Jesus  Christ,  and  God  the  Holy  Ghost  to  be  my 
God,  according  to  the  tenour  of  the  Covenant  of  Grace;  wherein 
he  hath  promised  to  be  a  God  to  the  Faithfull  and  their  seed  after 
them  in  their  Generations,  and  taketh  them  to  be  his  People,  and 
therfore  unfeignedly  repenting  of  all  my  sins,  I  do  give  up  myself 
wholy  unto  this  God  to  believe  in  love,  serve  &  Obey  him  sin- 
cerely and  faithfully  according  to  his  written  word,  against  all  the 
temptations  of  the  Devil,  the  World,  and  my  own  flesh  and  this 
unto  the  death. 

I  do  also  consent  to  be  a  Member  of  this  particular  Church,  prom- 
ising to  continue  stedfastly  in  fellowship  with  it,  in  the  publick 
Worship  of  God,  to  submit  to  the  Order  Discipline  and  Govern- 
ment of  Christ  in  it,  and  to  the  Ministerial  teaching  guidance 
and  oversight  of  the  Elders  of  it,  and  to  the  brotherly  watch  of 
Fellow  Members:  and  all  this  according  to  Gods  Word,  and  by  the 
grace  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  enabling  me  thereunto.     AMEN. 


'  It  has  been  pointed  out,  antCy  p.  115,  that  one  of  the  uses  of  this  confession  and  covenant 
was  when  a  baptized  child  of  the  church  wislied  to  pass  from  its  baptismal  fellowship  to  its  full 
communion.  For  such  use  its  expressions  of  personal  piety  seem  natural.  But  there  is  every  reason 
to  suppose,  also,  that  this  creed  and  covenant  were  employed  for  those  who  could  not  claim  a  work 
of  grace  sufficient  to  enable  them  to  ask  for  full  communion,  but  who  simply  "  owned  the  covenant" 
and  had  their  children  baptized.  Yet  New  England  custom  sanctioned  as  strenuous  a  covenant  as 
this  in  their  cases.  That  used  by  the  First  Church  of  Hartford  for  "half-way"  members  in  1696  is 
as  follows:  "We  do  solemnly  in  y*  presence  of  God  and  this  Congregation  avouch  God  in  Jesus 
Christ  to  be  our  God  one  God  in  three  persons  yo  Father  yo  Son  &  y«  Holy  Ghost  &  y'  we  are  by 
nature  childr"  of  wrath  &  y'  our  hope  of  Mercy  with  God  is  only  thro'  y«  righteousnesse  of  Jesus 
Christ  apprehended  by  faith  &  we  do  freely  give  up  ourselves  to  y«  Lord  to  walke  in  communion 
with  him  in  ye  ordinances  appointed  in  his  holy  word  &  to  yield  obedience  to  all  his  coiiiands  & 
submit  to  his  governm'.  &  wheras  to  y«  great  dishon''  of  God,  Scandall  of  Religion  &  hazard  of  y« 
damnation  of  Souls,  y^  Sins  of  drunkenness  &  fornication  are  Prevailing  amongst  us  we  do  Solemnly 
engage  before  God  this  day  thro  his  grace  faithfully  and  conscientiously  to  strive  against  those 
Evills  and  y«  temptations  that  May  lead  thereto."  Church  records^  G.  L.  Walker,  Hist.  First 
Ch.  in  Hart/arci,  Hartford,  1884,  p.  248.  Like  this  Salem  Direction  the  Hartford  covenant  was 
not  formally  adopted  by  the  church,  though  prepared  by  its  pastor  and  used  by  its  services.  For  a 
century,  at  Hartford,  each  pastor  wrote  his  own  form. 

9 


122  CREED   DEVELOPMENT   AT    SALEM 

[6]     Questions  to  be  Answered  at  the  Baptizing  of  Children,  or 
the  substance  to  be  expressed  by  the  Parents. 

Quest  Doc  you  present  and  give  up  this  child,  or  these  children, 
unto  God  the  Father,  Sonne  and  Holy  Ghost,  to  be  baptized  in  the  Faith, 
and  Engaged  in  the  Covinant  of  God  prof essed  by  this  Church  ? 

Quest.  Doe  you  Solleninly  Promise  in  the  Presence  of  God,  that 
by  the  grace  of  Christ,  you  will  discharge  your  Covina?!t  duty  towards 
your  Children,  soe  as  to  bring  them  up  in  the  Nurture  and  Admonition 
of  the  Lord,  teaching  and  commanding  them  to  keep  the  tuay  of  God, 
that  they  may  be  able  (^through  the  grace  of  Christ)  to  make  a  per  so  nail 
profession  of  their  Faith  and  to  own  the  Covinant  of  God  themselves 
in  due  time. 


FINIS 


VII 

THE     COVENANT    OF    THE    CHARLESTOWN-BOS- 
TON   CHURCH,    1630 

The  Covenant  is  preserved  in  the  Records  of  the  First  Church  in  Boston. 
Printed  Texts 

I.  Foxcroft,  Ohscrvatiois^  Historical  and  Practical,  on  the  Rise  and  Primitive 
State  of  Xeio  England,  Boston,  1730,  p.  3.' 

II.  Emerson,  Historical  Sketch  of  the  First  Church  in  Boston,  Boston, 
1812,  pp.  II,  12." 

III.  Budington,  History  of  the  First  Church,  Charlesto-ccn,  Boston,  1845, 
pp.  13.  14. 

IV.  Drake,  History  and  Antitpiities  of  Boston,  Boston,  1856,  p.  93. 

V.  Elliott,  A'eio  England  History,  New  York,  1857,  I  :  398. 

VI.  R.  C.  Winthrop,  Life  and  Letters  of  John  l'Finthro/>,  Boston,  1864-7, 
11:45- 

VII.  Waddington,  Congregational  History,  i^by—i'joo,  p.  269. 

VIII.  Punchard,  History  of  Congregationalism,  Boston,  1880,  IV  :  42. 

IX.  Comviemoration  by  the  First  Church  .  .  of  the  Completion  of  2jo 
years  since  its  foundation,  Boston,  1881,  p.  201. 

X.  A.  B.  Ellis,  History  of  the  First  Church  in  Boston,   Boston,  1881,  p.  3. 

XI.  R.  C.  Winthrop,  Boston  Founded,  in  Winsor's  Memorial  History  of 
Boston,  Boston,  1882,  p.  114. 

XII.  G.  E.  Ellis,  Puritan  Age  in     .     .     Massachusetts,  Boston,  18S8,  p.  58. 

LlTER.\TURE 

The  circumstances  of  the  adoption  of  this  covenant  are  described  in  two  con- 
temporary letters  to  Gov.  Bradford  of  Plymouth,  from  Samuel  Fuller  and  Edward 
Winslow,  preserved  in  Bradford,  History  of  Plymouth  Plantation,  pp.  277-279  ; 
and  in  Bradford's  Letter-Book,  /  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  III  :  74-76.  The  essential 
portions  of  these  letters  were  given  in  abstract  by  Prince,  Chron.  Hist,  of  N'eiv 
England,  I  :  242-244.  The  facts,  thus  preserved,  have  been  treated  with  more  or 
less  fullness  in  each  of  the  works  from  which  te.xts  of  the  covenant  have  been  cited. 
I  will  only  add  to  the  list  there  given,  Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  N'.  E.,1  :  13S,  139  ;  Pal- 
frey, Hist.  A'.  E.,  1:316;  Dexter,  Congregationalism  as  seen,  417.  Governor 
Winthrop  gi\'es  no  account  of  the  adoption  of  this  covenant,  his  Llistory  of  A^ezo 
England  {or  Journal)  hcix'mg  a  large  blank  at  this  point;  though  he  describes  the 
election  and  installation  of  the  officers  of  the  church  four  weeks  after  (Savage's  2d. 
ed.  Boston,  1853,  I  :  36-39).  Hubbard  {Geti.  Hist.  N.  E.,  ed.  Boston,  1848,  p.  135) 
and  Mather  {Alagnalia,  ed.  1S53-5,  I  :  79)  observe  the  same  silence. 


'  Century  Sermon.     Thomas  Foxcroft  was  minister  of  the  First  Church,  Boston,  from  1717 
to  his  death  in  1769. 

'  William    Emerson  was   pastor   of  the    First   Church,    1799-1811  ;  father  of    Ralph    Waldo 
Emerson. 

(123) 


124  THE    B0ST(3N    COVENANT,    1630 

IN  the  previous  chapter'  the  story  was  told  of  the  rapid  growth 
of  the  enterprise  for  Puritan  colonization  in  New  England 
under  the  fostering  care  of  Rev.  John  White,  the  securing  of  a 
large  land  grant  from  the  Plymouth  Council  in  March,  1628,  and 
the  sending  of  Endicott  to  Salem  as  representative  of  the  new 
company  in  the  summer  of  the  same  year;  and,  finally,  the  grant 
of  a  patent  by  the  crown  to  the  now  much  enlarged  body  of  ad- 
venturers, on  March  4,  1629,  organizing  it  into  the  "  Governour 
and  Company  of  the  Mattachusetts  Bay."  The  first  governor  of 
the  corporation  thus  created  was  Matthew  Cradock,^  a  London 
merchant  of  wealth;  and  the  evident  intention  was  that  the  con- 
trol of  the  Company  should  remain  in  England  and  its  authority 
be  exercised  through  agents  like  Endicott.  But  as  the  tyranny 
of  church  and  crown  pressed  with  increasing  severity  upon  the 
Puritans  of  England,  men  of  so  great  prominence  and  in  such 
numbers  announced  their  intention  of  casting  in  their  lot  with 
the  Company  as  actual  settlers  on  the  shores  of  New  England, 
that  a  change  of  policy  seemed  advisable.  Accordingly,  on  July 
28,  1629,  Cradock  himself  proposed  that  the  government  of  the 
Company  be  transferred  to  New  England  soil.^  Decision  was 
not  immediately  given  by  the  Company  as  a  whole,  but  the  de- 
sires of  a  prominent  body  of  Puritans,  embracing  such  men  as 
Winthrop,  Saltonstall,  Dudley,  Pynchon,  and  Nowell,  who  entered 
into  a  mutual  covenant  at  Cambridge,  Eng.,  August  26,  1629,  to 
emigrate  to  New  England  provided  the  government  and  patent 
should  be  legally  carried  thither,*  caused  matters  to  come  to  a 
head  ;  and  on  August  29  the  transfer  was  voted. ^  Since  Cradock 
and  others  of  the  old  officers  of  the  Company  could  not  leave 
England,   they  naturally  resigned;    and  the   vacant  governorship 


'  See  ante,  p.  100. 

*  Some  biographical  facts  regarding  him  may  be  found  in  Young,  Chron.  .  .  ji/ass., 
PP-  137,  138. 

^Records  .  .  of  Massachusetts^  Boston,  1853,  1:49.  Young,  Chron.  .  .  Mass., 
pp.  85,  86. 

■»  Young,  Ibid.,  pp.  281,  282. 

s  Records,  I  :  50,  51.  Young,  Ibid.,  pp.  86-88.  Compare  Palfrey,  1 :  301,  302,  and  G.  E. 
Ellis,  Puritan  Age    .     .    in    .     .     Mass.,  pp.  46-49. 


THE    PURITAN   EXODUS  1 25 

was  filled,  October  20,  1629,'  by  the  choice  of  John  Winthrop.^ 
Preparations  for  departure  now  went  on  apace,  and  hundreds  of 
emigrants  decided  to  avail  themselves  of  the  facilities  afforded  by 
the  Company,  ^\'ith  the  opening  spring  of  1630  these  colonists 
now  began  pouring  across  the  Atlantic.  First  of  all  to  leave 
England  was  a  body  organized  by  the  influence  of  John  White 
of  Dorchester,  England,  and  which  had  been  joined  together  into 
Congregational  church-estate  at  Plymouth,  England,  in  March, 
1630,  just  before  sailing,  and  had  there  chosen  John  Warham  and 
John  Maverick  its  ministers.^  Arrived  in  Massachusetts  Bay  on 
May  30  of  that  year,  they  named  their  new  settlement  Dorchester,  in 
memory  of  their  English  home.  These  Dorchester  emigrants  did 
not  much  anticipate,  either  in  sailing  or  arrival,  their  companions 
in  the  great  emigration^  of  1630.  Winthrop  and  his  immediate 
company  got  away  from  English  shores  April  8,  and  reached 
Salem,  June  12.''  But  Salem  proved  not  to  their  liking,"  and 
they  almost  immediately  removed  to  Massachusetts  Bay,  where 
the  majority  of  Winthrop's  immediate  associates  settled  on  the 
north  side  of  Charles  river  at  Charlestown,  but  a  few  took  up  their 
abode  on  the  south  side  at  what  was  soon  to  be  named  Boston.'' 


1  Records,  I  :  59,  60  ;   Young,  Ibid.,  pp.  104,  105. 

2  Of  Winthrop,  one  of  the  greatest  names  in  New  England  history,  little  need  here  be  said. 
Born  at  Edwardston,  Suffolk,  Jan.,  1588,  of  a  family  of  considerable  prominence,  he  studied  at 
Cambridge  for  two  years,  beginning  with  1602  ;  but  left  without  taking  a  degree.  He  practiced 
law,  and  discharged  the  duties  of  a  justice,  coming  also  into  connection  with  many  who  were  in 
Parliament ;  but  repeated  domestic  bereavement  in  early  life  increased  the  always  serious  bent  of 
his  spirit  and  inclined  him  to  a  profound  interest  in  religious  things.  Precisely  how  his  thoughts 
were  turned  toward  New  England  we  know  not,  but  by  May,  1629,  he  was  seriously  weighing  the 
advisability  of  going  thither.  His  agreement  with  others  to  undertake  the  voyage  followed  in 
August,  and  in  October  he  was  chosen  governor  of  the  Company.  He  arrived  at  Salem  June  12, 
1630;  and  thenceforward,  till  his  death  in  March,  1649,  he  lived  in  New  England,  and  was  intimately 
concerned  with  its  affairs.  From  the  foundation  of  Boston  he  was  identified  with  that  town.  He 
held  the  governorship  till  1634,  and  again  1637-1640,  1642-1644,  1646-1649.  Strong,  patient,  courage- 
ous, and  above  all  profoundly  religious,  the  influence  which  he  exercised  in  moulding  the  infant 
colony  can  hardly  be  over  estimated.  The  best  work  regarding  him  is  that  of  his  descendant 
Robert  C.  Winthrop,  Li/c  and  Letters  0/ John  Winthrop,  2  vols.,  Boston,  1864-1867.  Of  the 
many  other  sketches  of  him  I  will  refer  only  to  one  of  the  earliest,  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5, 
1:118-131;  and  the  latest,  Appleton's  Cyclppa>dia  of  Am.  Biography,  1889,  V'l  :  572-574,  and 
J.  H.  Twichell, /()//«  Winthrop,  New  York,  iSqi. 

'  The  circumstances  of  their  organization,  and  the  later  removal  of  a  portion  of  this  Dor- 
chester Company  to  what  is  now  Windsor,  Conn.,  will  be  related  in  a  subsequent  chapter. 

■•Prince,  Chron.  Hist.  N.  E.,  p.  240;  Hutchinson,  Hist.  .  .  Mass.  Bay,  I  :  19  ;  and 
Young,  Chron  .  .  Mass.,  p.  127,  estimate  the  number  of  Puritan  emigrants  to  New  England  in 
1630  at  1500. 

^  Winthrop,  History  (Journal),  Savage's  2d  ed.,  I  :  6-29. 

*  Dudley's  Letter  to  the  Countess  of  Lincoln,  Young,  Chron.     .     .     Mass.,  p.  312. 

'  Ibid.,  313.  This  settlement  took  place  about  July  10  or  12.  See  Prince,  Chron.  Hist.  N. 
E.,  p.  240. 


126  THE   BOSTON   COVENANT,    1630 

If  Samuel  Fuller,  the  physician  and  deacon  of  Plymouth,  was 
correctly  informed  the  attention  of  Winthrop's  company  had 
already  been  drawn  by  a  minister  whom  they  held  in  high  esteem 
and  who  was  later  to  fill  a  distinguished  teachership  in  the  Boston 
church,  John  Cotton,  then  of  Boston,  England,  to  the  model  set  by 
Plymouth.'  It  was  on  ready  soil,  therefore,  that  the  seeds  fell 
when  Fuller,  who  had  been  called  to  the  medical  aid  of  Winthrop's 
company  and  the  Dorchester  emigrants  before  the  governor  had 
been  three  weeks  on  the  New  England  shores,  expounded  the  Ply- 
mouth church-way  in  public  and  private.^  We  may  be  sure  also 
that  Fuller's  earlier  friend  and  sympathizer,  Endicott,  was  of  mate- 
rial aid  in  setting  forth  Congregational  principles  since  Fuller 
speaks  of  him  at  this  time  as  a  second  Barrowe.'  But  the  Plymouth 
church  was  to  have  a  yet  more  active  share  in  directing  the  affairs 
of  Winthrop's  company  toward  church  organization.  On  Sunday, 
July  25,  Isaac  Johnson,  Winthrop's  companion,  being  then  at  Salem, 
received  a  letter'*  from  the  governor  at  Charlestown  entreating  the 


'  Fuller  to  Bradford.  Dated  JNIassachusetts,  June  28,  1630.  Bradford's  Letter-Book,  /  Coll. 
Mass.  Hist.  Sac,  III  :  74,  75.  "  Here  is  a  gentleman,  one  Mr.  Cottington,  a  Boston  [Eng.]  man, 
who  told  me  that  Mr.  Cotton's  charge  at  Hampton  was,  that  they  should  take  the  advice  of  them  at 
Plymouth,  and  should  do  nothing  to  offend  them."  /.  c,  at  Southampton  before  sailing. 

2  /ii'd.  "  We  have  some  privy  enemies  in  the  bay,  but  (blessed  be  God)  more  friends  ;  the 
Governour  hath  had  conference  with  me,  both  in  private  and  before  sundry  others  .  .  .  the 
Governour  hath  told  me  he  hoped  we  will  not  be  wanting  in  helping  them,  so  that  I  think  you 
[/.  i".,  Bradford  and  his  associates]  will  be  sent  for." 

2  Hid.,  "a second  Burrow." 

••  This  letter  and  the  consequent  action,  is  made  known  to  us  in  a  letter  to  Gov.  Bradford,. 
Pastor  Ralph  Smith  and  Elder  William  Brewster,  of  Plymouth,  written  from  Salem,  July  26,  1630,  by 
Winslow,  and  signed  by  Winslovv  and  Fuller.  Te.xt  in  Bradford,  Nisi.  Plyni.  Plant.,  pp.  277,  278  ; 
and  Letter  Book,  /  Coll.  JSIass.  Hist.  Soc,  III :  75,  76.  Some  important  partsof  Winslow's  letter  are 
as  follows:  "Sr:  Being  at  Salem  y*  25.  of  July,  being  y«  saboath,  after  ye  eveing  exercise,  M'. 
Johnson  received  a  letter  from  y«  Gov'",  M^  John  Winthrop,  manifesting  y«  hand  of  God  to  be  upon 
them,  and  against  them  at  Charles-towne  ...  It  was  therfore  by  his  desire  taken  into  ye 
Godly  consideration  of  ye  best  hear,  what  was  to  be  done  to  pacific  y'  Lords  wrath.  [And  they 
would  do  nothing  without  our  advice,  I  mean  those  members  of  our  church,  there  known  unto  them, 
viz.  Mr.  Fuller,  Mr.  AUerton,  and  myself,  requiring  our  voices  as  their  own.]  Wher  it  was  con- 
cluded, that  the  Lord  was  to  be  sought  in  righteousnes  ;  and  to  that  end,  ye  6.  day  (being  Friday)  of 
this  present  weeke,  is  set  aparte,  that  they  may  humble  them  selves  before  God,  and  seeke  him  in 
his  ordenances ;  and  that  then  also  such  godly  persons  that  are  amongst  them,  and  know  each  to 
other,  may  publickly,  at  ye  end  of  their  exercise,  make  known  their  Godly  desire,  and  practise  y* 
same,  viz.  soleiiily  to  enter  into  covenante  with  ye  Lord  to  walke  in  his  ways.  And  since  they  are 
so  disposed  of  in  their  outward  estats,  as  to  live  in  three  distinct  places,  each  having  men  of  abilitie 
amongst  them,  ther  to  observe  ye  day,  and  become  3.  distincte  bodys ;  not  then  intending  rashly  to 
proceed  to  y*  choyce  of  officers,  or  ye  admitting  of  any  other  to  their  societie  then  a  few,  to  witte, 
such  as  are  well  knowne  unto  them  ;  promising  after  to  receive  in  such  by  confession  of  faith,  as 
shall  appeare  to  be  fitly  qualified  for  y  estate.  They  doe  ernestly  entreate  that  ye  church  of  Pli- 
moth  would  set  apparte  ye  same  day,  for  ye  same  ends,  beseeching  ye  Lord,  as  to  withdraw  his 
hand  of  correction  from  them,  so  also  to  establish  and  direct  them  in  his  wayes."  From  Brad- 
ford's History,  clause  in  brackets  added  in  Letter  Book. 


FORMATION    OF   TlIK    clIURCH  I27 

advice  of  the  Salem  church  in  view  of  the  severe  mortality  which  was 
afflicting  the  new  settlers  on  the  Charles  river.  Deacon  Fuller, 
lulward  NVinslow,  and  Isaac  AUerton,  of  the  Plymouth  church,  were 
at  Salem,  and  the  good  people  of  that  church  sought  their  counsel 
also  in  the  weighty  matter  laid  before  them.'  Possibly  Winthrop 
had  outlined,  in  the  letter  to  Johnson,  a  plan  for  which  he  desired  the 
approval  of  the  Salem  brethren;  more  probably  Johnson  was  him- 
self sufficiently  identified  with  Winthrop  and  his  company  to  accept 
counsel  in  their  behalf  and  to  agree  to  a  definite  line  of  action  in 
their  stead.  At  all  events,  it  was  determined  that  Sabbath  evening 
at  Salem  that  the  three  settlements  into  which  Winthrop's  immediate 
company  had  already  divided,  Charlestown,  Watertown,  and  proba- 
bly either  Roxbury  or  Medford,^  should  observe  the  coming  Fri- 
day, July  30,  as  a  fast  ;  and  that  those  who  were  fit  among  their 
inhabitants  should  enter  into  church-estate  by  covenant.  At  the 
same  time  the  Plymouth  church,  in  the  persons  of  its  three  mem- 
bers at  Salem,  was  entreated  to  "set  apparte  y^  same  day,  for 
y*  same  ends,"  beseeching  God's  mercy  on  the  afflicted  people  of 
Massachusetts   Bay  and   His  blessing  on  their  new  church  insti- 


'  Theletter  just  quoted  is  indeed  obscure.  Prince,  Citron.  Hist.  N.  E.^  pp.  242,  243,  represents 
it  as  conveying  information  to  Johnson  at  Salem,  rather  than  asking  advice.  I  have  interpreted  it 
as  seems  more  probable  to  me.  Winslow's  letter  to  Bradford  certainly  implies  that  the  advice  of  the 
Salem  people  was  sought,  and  given.  That  advice  seems  to  include  the  establishment  of  covenant 
church  relationships,  as  one  means  of  seeking  the  Lord  in  righteousness.  There  was  not  time 
between  Sunday  evening,  when  Winthrop's  letter  was  received,  and  Monday,  when  Winslow's  letter 
was  written,  for  any  action  embodying  the  Salem  advice  to  be  taken  at  Charlestown  and  reported 
back  to  Salem.  Hence  the  setting  apart  of  Friday  must  have  been  definitely  determined  upon  at 
Salem,  and  probably  that  Sabbath  evening.  As  representative  of  the  only  other  church  which  had 
had  experience  on  New  England  soil  (that  of  Dorchester  had  only  just  arrived)  it  was  natural  for 
Johnson  and  the  Salem  brethren  to  consult  the  men  from  Plymouth.  Probably  Winthrop  may  have 
suggested  such  a  course,  though  it  is  hard  to  assert  that  to  be  the  case  from  Winslow's  letter.  We 
may  assume  also,  though  it  does  not  appear  on  the  record,  that  Salem  observed  the  day  in  prayer 
for  Winthrop's  company  in  the  same  way  that  was  urged  upon  Plymouth. 

2  What  are  signified  by  the  "three  distinct  places"  and  "3.  distincte  bodys"  of  Winslow's 
letter  is  hard  to  say  with  certainty.  Prince,  Chron.  Hist.  N.  E.,  p.  243,  interprets  them  as  Salem, 
Dorchester,  and  Charlestown.  This  view  is,  however,  obviously  incorrect,  as  Winslow's  letter 
clearly  implies  that  the  three  places  were  inhabited  by  Winthrop's  immediate  company,  and  by  per- 
sons not  yet  gathered  in  church-estate  ;  while  Salem  and  Dorchester  already  had  well-established 
churches.  Of  course  one  of  the  places  is  Charlestown,  where  Winthrop  then  was.  Another  is 
clearly  Watertown,  where  a  church  was  to  be  formed  on  the  same  day  as  the  Charlestown-Boston 
church,  and  doubtless  as  a  result  of  the  same  Salem  advice.  The  third  place  is  more  obscure  ;  but 
it  can  hardly  have  been  Boston,  which  was  regarded  for  two  years  longer  as  ecclesiastically  one 
with  Charlestown.  Reasons  which  space  does  not  permit  me  to  elaborate  incline  me  to  think  that 
either  Ro.xbury  or  Medford  is  the  third.  The  question  is  of  little  importance,  for,  whatever  the 
third  place  may  have  been,  we  have  no  evidence  of  the  formation  of  a  church  at  this  time  else- 
where than  at  Charlestown  and  Watertown. 


128  THE   BOSTON   COVENANT,    1630 

tutions.  Thus,  though  the  Boston  church  was  to  remain  Non- 
conformist rather  than  Separate  in  its  attitude  toward  the  Church 
of  England,  it  from  the  very  first  held  out  the  hand  of  brother- 
hood, really  if  a  little  indirectly,  to  the  Separatist  body  at  Ply- 
mouth. In  accordance  with  this  advice,  and  upon  the  day  des- 
ignated, Congregational  churches  were  gathered  at  Charlestown 
and  at  Watertown,'  by  the  solemn  adoption  of  a  covenant.  Agree- 
ably also  to  the  counsel  that  there  should  be  no  rashness  or  haste 
in  the  admission  of  members,  the  church  at  Charlestown  was 
formed,  on  this  initial  day  of  its  history,^  by  four  men  only,  John 
Winthrop,  Isaac  Johnson,^  Thomas  Dudley,^  and  Rev.  John  Wil- 
son^—  the   four  most  considerable  personages  in  the  little  com- 

1  Mather,  Magiialia,  ed.  1853-5,  I  :  377,  gives  the  text  of  the  Watertown  covenant,  and  its 
date  as  July  30,  1630.  Some  unsuccessful  attempts  have  been  made  to  dispute  the  correctness  of 
this  date,  but  there  can  be  no  reasonable  doubt  as  to  its  accuracy.  See  Francis,  Hist.  Sketch  0/ 
Waterto-Mti^  Cambridge,  1830,  appendi.x,  pp.  132-135  ;  Note,  by  Savage,  to  Winthrop' s  Hist.  N.  E. 
(Journal),  ed.  1853,  I  :  112-114  ;  Bond,  Genealogies  ..  .  Early  Settlers  0/  IVatertown,  Boston, 
1855,  pp.  979-982  ;  Dexter,  Cong:  as  seen.,  p.  413. 

2  Our  knowledge  of  the  circumstances  under  which  the  formation  of  the  Charlestown-Boston 
church  was  effected  is  based  on  a  letter  of  Samuel  Fuller  to  Gov.  Bradford,  dated  Charlestown, 
Aug.  2,  1630.  Letter  Book,  i  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Sac,  III  :  76 ;  and  Bradford,  Hist.  Plyvi.  Pla7it., 
pp.  278,  279  ;  in  which  he  says  :  "  Some  are  here  entered  into  church  covenante  ;  the  first  were  4. 
namly,  y«  Gov'',  M'.  John  Winthrop,  M''.  Johnson,  M''.  Dudley,  and  jNI'.  Willson  ;  since  that  5. 
more  are  joyned  unto  them,  and  others,  it  is  like,  will  adde  them  selves  to  them  dayly." 

3  Isaac  Johnson,  the  largest  subscriber  to  the  stock  of  the  Mass.  Company,  and  a  man  of 
prominence  in  every  way,  was  from  Clipsham,  County  of  Rutland.  His  wife  was  the  daughter  of 
the  Earl  of  Lincoln.  Both  were  victims  of  the  sickness  which  swept  away  so  many  of  the  first  set- 
tlers of  Charlestown,  she  dying  in  Aug.  and  he  Sept.  30,  1630.  See  Dudley,  Letter  to  Countess  of 
Lincoln,  Young,  Chron.  .  .  Mass.,  pp.  317,  318  ;  Hutchinson,  Hist.  .  .  Colony  of  Mass. 
Bay,  I  :  16 ;  Eliot,  Biog.  Diet.,  pp.  281-283 ;  Savage's  Winthrop,  ed.  1853,  1:5;  Allen,  A  m.  Biog. 
Diet.,  ed.  Boston,  1857,  p.  477,  etc. 

^  Thomas  Dudley,  born  at  Northampton,  Eng.,  1576,  gained  some  knowledge  of  law,  served 
as  the  captain  of  a  company  of  volunteers  under  Henry  IV.  of  France  in  1597.  Then  after  some 
time  became  steward  to  the  Earl  of  Lincoln,  and  embraced  Puritan  sentiments.  Lived  for  a  time 
at  Boston,  Eng.  He  united  with  Winthrop  in  the  Cambridge  Agreement,  Aug.  26,  1629.  On 
March  23,  1630,  he  was  chosen  deputy  governor  of  the  Company.  He  was  always  prominent 
in  the  colony,  being  elected  governor  four  times,  deputy  thirteen  times,  and  major-general.  He 
died  July,  1653.  See  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  I  :  132-135  ;  Hutchinson,  I  :  14-15  ;  Young, 
Chron.     .     .     Mass.,  p.  304  ;  Savage's  Winthrop,  1 :  60-62  ;  I  Proc.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  XI  :  207-222. 

5  John  Wilson,  at  first  teacher,  then  pastor  of  the  Charleston-Boston  church,  was  born  at 
Windsor,  Eng.,  1588,  his  father  being  canon  of  the  castle  chapel.  His  mother  was  a  niece  of 
Archbishop  Grindall.  Wilson  was  educated  at  Eton,  and  then  at  Cambridge,  where  he  gradu- 
ated A.  B.,  1605,  and  A.  M.,  1609.  His  father  persuaded  him  to  study  law,  not  approving  of  his 
Puritan  tendencies,  but  Wilson's  bent  was  for  the  ministry.  After  serving  as  chaplain  in  Puritan 
families  and  preaching  in  various  places,  he  settled  at  Sudbury,  Suffolk,  where  he  came  to  know 
Winthrop.  Here,  though  a  minister  of  the  Church  of  England,  his  Puritan  inclinations  were  so 
marked  as  to  lead  the  bishop  of  Norwich  to  suspend  and  silence  him.  The  prohibition  was  re- 
moved, through  influence,  but  Wilson  preferred  to  go  to  New  England  and  therefore  joined  with 
Winthrop.  He  was  chosen  teacher  of  the  Boston  church  at  Charlestown,  Aug.  27,  1630;  and  pastor 
Nov.  22,  1632  (Winthrop,  Savage's  ed.  1853,  I  :  36-39,  114,  115).  He  remained  in  office  till  his 
death,  Aug.  7,  1667.  Though  inferior  in  ability  to  his  ministerial  associate,  John  Cotton,  he  was 
a  man  of  mark,  well  liked  for  his  sweet  temper,  and  popular  in  the  community.     He  wrote  little. 


CHOICE    OF    OFFICERS  1 29 

niunity.'  ^Vithin  three  days  five  more  had  been  admitted  to  fel- 
lowship, and  other  members  joined  in  rapid  suecession. 

Tlie  church  so  begun  was  not  yet  equipped  with  officers ; 
though  all  men  knew  who  was  to  be  its  minister,  and  preaching 
was  doubtless  maintained.  The  next  step  was  taken  by  the  Gen- 
eral Court  of  the  Company,  on  August  23,  1630,  when  support,  to 
be  raised  by  taxation  from  those  places  under  the  Massachusetts 
jurisdiction  where  churches  had  not  been  formed  previous  to  July 
30,  was  voted  to  Mr.  Wilson  of  Charlestown-Boston  and  Mr.  Phillips 
of  Watertown.'^  It  was  not  till  after  the  salary  of  its  minister  had 
thus  been  provided,  that  the  Charlestown-Boston  church  held 
another  fast,  and  solemnly  chose  and  installed  its  officers  August 
27,  1630.  At  that  time  John  Wilson  was  elected  teacher.  Increase 
Nowell  ruling-elder,  and  William  Gager  and  William  Aspinwall 
deacons.^  The  officers  thus  selected  were  then  installed  by  the 
laying  on  of  hands,  but  with  the  express  reservation,  in  the  case  of 
Mr.  Wilson,  that  the  act  was  not  to  be  construed  as  a  denial  of  the 
validity  of  his  English  and  Episcopal  ordination.'' 

But  Charlestown  was  not  to  be  the  permanent  home  of  the 
majority  of  its  early  settlers;  by  the  time  that  the  officers  were 
chosen  the  exodus  to  Boston  was  well  begun,  by  November  the 
governor  himself  had  removed  thither,^ — soon  Boston  was  more 
populous  than  Charlestown.     Naturally  services  began  to  be  held 


See  Mather,  Magnalia^  ed.  1853-5,  I  :  302-321;  Eliot,  pp.  496-499;  Emerson,  Hist.  Sketch  First  Ch. 
in  Boston,  Boston,  xZii,  />iissiin  :  Voung,  Cliron.  .  .  Mass.,  pp.  325,  326:  Savage's  Winthrop, 
passim  ;  A.  W.  M'Clure,  Lives  of  the  Chief  Fathers  of  N.  £.,  Boston,  (1846)  1870,  II  :  7-172  ; 
Sprague,  Annals  Am.  Pulpit,  I  :  12-15  ;  A.  B.  Ellis,  Hist.  First  Ch.  Boston,  Boston,  iSSi,  pp. 
4-6,  98-102  ;  Appleton's  Cyclop.  Am.   Biog.,  VI  :  553,  etc. 

'  Their  only  rivals  in  station,  Sir  Richard  Saltonstall  and  Rev.  George  Phillips,  were  the 
leaders  of  the  branch  of  the  .settlement  at  Watertown. 

"^  Mass.  Colonial  Records,  I:  73.  Both  were  to  have  houses  built  at  public  e.xpense.  Mr. 
Phillips  was  to  have  also  specified  provisions  and  ;^2o  per  annum,  or  ;^4o  without  provisions,  at  his 
option.  Mr.  Wilson  ^20  "  till  his  wife  come  ouer."  "  All  this  to  be  att  the  coivion  charge,  those  of 
Mattapan  [Dorchester]  &  Salem  onely  exempted,"  i.  e.,  because  these  two  places  had  churches  of 
their  own. 

3  Winthrop,  Hist.  X.  E.  (Journal),  Savage's  ed.  1853,  I:  36-39. 

■•  Ibid.     See  ante,^.  qt^. 

^Winthrop's  letter  to  his  wife  is  dated  "Boston  .  .  .  Nov.  29,  1630."  //■/(/.,  I:  456. 
Tti^  Early  Records  of  Charlestown,  %wcn  va\oVin%,  Chron.  .  .  .  J/a^-j.,  371-387,  contain  a 
picturesque  and  circumstantial  account  of  the  settlement  of  Charlestown  and  Boston.  Doubtless 
it  rests  upon  good  traditional  evidence,  and  is  accurate  in  general  impression  ;  but  it  was  compiled 
in  1664,  and  should  by  no  means  be  treated  as  a  contemporary  authority,  as  many  historians  have 
done. 


I30  THE    BOSTON   COVENANT,    163O 

on  the  Boston  side,'  though  the  two  peoples  were  looked  upon  as 
one  congregation.  The  preponderance  of  Boston  so  increased 
that,  HI  August,  1632,  a  meeting-house  was  begun  there  at  the 
jomt  expense  of  the  people  of  both  places."  But  the  river  was  a 
barrier  difficult  to  cross  in  bad  weather,  and  it  is  no  wonder  that 
the  people  of  Charlestown  amicably  withdrew  from  their  brethren 
at  Boston  in  October,  1632,  and  were  formed  into  a  church  of  their 
own  on  November  2  of  that  year.'  Thenceforward  the  Boston  and 
Charlestown  congregations  pursued  independent  paths.  The  emi- 
nence already  attained  by  the  Boston  church  was  crowned  when 
Its  ministerial  equipment  was  completed  according  to  the  ideas  of 
the  time,  by  the  ordination  of  John  Cotton,  certainly  the  ablest  of 
the  early  Massachusetts  ministry,  to  the  office  of  teacher,  October 
10,  1633.- 

The  Charlestown-Boston  covenant  is  a  plain,  sweet,  simple 
promise  of  obedience  to  God  and  of  aid  to  one  another.^  It  does 
not  touch  upon  doctrinal  questions  for  the  same  reason  that  the 
early  covenant  of  Salem  does  not  treat  of  them,  —  such  questions 
were  not  yet  mooted  in  Winthrop's  company.  But  it  was  of  the 
highest  importance  for  the  development  of  Congregationalism  on 
our  shores;  for  it  was  the  work  of  men  who  were  essentially  con- 
servative, who  had  no  desire  to  break  with  the  Church  of  England 
and  did  not  regard  themselves  as  separating  from  her.  And  it 
was  the  work,  too,  of  those  who  were,  and  were  to  be,  above  all 
others,  the  leaders  and  founders  of  civil  institutions  in  Massachu- 
setts.    In  thus  heartily  embracing  Congregationalism  at  the  outset 


1  Probably  the  services  were  thenceforth  held  chiefly  in  Boston,  as  the  pastor  and  governor 
moved  thither.  Hunnewell,  Commemoration  of  the  2S0th  Anniversary  First  Ck.,  Charlestown, 
p.  30,  records  a  tradition  that  preaching  was  had  at  first  alternately  in  Boston  and  Charlestown. 

2  Winthrop,  as  cited,  1 :  104.  While  at  Charlestown  the  services  were  held  in  part  in  the  open 
air  and  in  part  in  the  "great  house"  built  at  the  expense  of  the  Company  in  1629.  Hunnewell,  as 
cited,  p.  30. 

3  Winthrop,  as  cited,  I:  112.  Hunnewell,  as  cited,  p.  31.  For  the  covenant  then  adopted, 
see  ante,  p.  116. 

■•  Winthrop,  as  cited,  1 :  135-137.  The  church  had  advanced  in  its  opposition  to  Episcopal 
rites  and  ordinances  since  the  days  of  Wilson's  election,  for  though  Cotton  had  long  been  a  minister 
of  the  Church  of  England,  he  was  now  explicitly  ordained  to  his  Boston  office,  by  the  imposition 
of  the  hands  of  the  pastor  and  elders  and  prayer. 

5  Dr.  McKenzie,  in  his  Discourse  printed  in  connection  with  the  address  of  Mr.  Hunnewell, 
just  cited,  p.  8,  suggests  that  the  covenant  is  propably  from  the  pen  of  Winthrop.  It  is  still  in  use 
by  the  First  Church  in  Boston  (now  Unitarian). 


TEXT   OF   THE   COVENANT  I3I 

the  Charlestown-Boston  Christian  communit}^  made  it  ceiTain  that 
Congregationalism  was  to  be  the  pohty  of  Puritan  New  England. 

THE    CHARLESTOWN-BOSTON    COVENANT.' 

In  the  Name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  cS:  in  Obedience  to  His 
holy  will  &  Divine  Ordinaunce. 

Wee  whose  names  are  herevnder  written,  being  by  His  most 
wise,  &  good  Providence  brought  together  into  this  part  of  America 
in  the  Bay  of  Masachusetts,  &  desirous  to  vnite  our  selves  into  one 
Congregation,  or  Church,  vnder  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  our  Head, 
in  such  sort  as  becometh  all  those  whom  He  hath  Redeemed,  & 
Sanctifyed  to  Himselfe,  do  hereby  solemnly,  and  religiously  (as  in 
His  most  holy  Proesence)  Promisse,  &  bind  o'selves,  to  walke  in 
all  our  wayes  according  to  the  Rule  of  the  Gospell,  &  in  all  sincere 
Conformity  to  His  holy  Ordinaunces,  &  in  mutuall  love,  &  respect 
each  to  other,  so  neere  as  God  shall  give  vs  grace. 


1  Text  from  A.  B.  Ellis,  History  0/  the  First  Church  in  Boston,  p.  3.  Mr.  Ellis,  now  clerk 
of  the  First  Church,  has  kindly  verified  the  text  in  his  History  by  a  fresh  comparison  with  the  copy 
of  the  Records  of  the  First  Church  made  by  David  Pulsifer  in  1847. 


VIII 

HOOKER'S   SUMMARY   OF   CONGREGATIONAL 
PRINCIPLES,  1645 

I.  These  articles  were  originally  published  in  Hooker's  preface  to  his  Survey 
of  the  Siimine  of  Church-Diseipline,  etc.,  London,  .  .  1648,  pp.  [xvii-xix.] 
Thence  they  were  reproduced  in 

II.  Hanbury,  Historical  Memorials,  etc.,  London,  1839-44,  III  :  266,  267;  and 

III.  Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History  of  New  England,  Boston,  1855,  I  :  566  ;  and 

IV.  G.  L.  Walker,  History  of  the  First  Church  in  Hartford,  Hartford,  1884, 
pp.  144,  145. 


THE  coming  of  Winthrop's  company  was  but  the  beginning  of 
a  great  outpouring'  from  Old  England  to  the  New,  —  an 
emigration  which  continued  in  full  force  till  the  changes  in  the 
English  political  horizon  at  the  opening  of  the  Long  Parliament 
gave  promise  to  the  Puritans  of  satisfactory  reforms  at  home,  and 
thus  removed  the  chief  impulse  toward  the  planting  of  Puritan 
colonies  beyond  the  Atlantic.  As  a  whole,  this  great  emigration 
was  remarkably  homogeneous  in  character  and  united  in  habits 
of  religious  thought.  But  it  was  impossible  that  in  so  large  a 
body  some  degree  of  diversity  should  not  be  found.  It  is  remark- 
able that,  freed  as  the  emigrants  were  from  the  restraints  of  the 
English  Establishment,  their  divisions  were  so  few  and  so  com- 
paratively unimportant. 

The  first  really  serious  question  to   disturb  the  peace  of  our 
rising  churches  was  that  occasioned  by  the  coming  of  Mrs.  Anne 


1  Johnson,  Wonder-Working  Providence,  London,  1654,  Poole's  reprint,  Andover,  1867,  p. 
31,  estimated  the  number  who  had  come  to  New  England  by  1643  as  21,200.  These  figures  were 
approved  by  Pres.  Stiles  in  a  glowing  sermon  preached  Apl.  23,  1760,  at  Bristol,  R.  I.,  before  the 
Congregational  Convention  of  that  province  —  a  sermon  in  which  the  preacher  indulged  in  pre- 
dictions as  to  the  growth  of  New  England's  population  during  the  next  100  years  which  far  exceed 
anything  which  has  been  realized  on  New  England  soil.  Pres.  Stiles  added  the  observation  that 
between  1643  and  1760  more  persons  probably  left  New  England  than  came  to  her  shores.  Palfrey, 
Hist.  N.  E.,  I :  vii  (Preface),  substontially  accepts  these  statements  ;  and  doubtless  they  are  appro.x- 
imately  true,  though  Savage  in  a  note  to  Winthrop,  ed.  1853,  1 1  '■  4°3'  4°4i  intimates  that  the  figures 
may  not  be  taken  as  final. 

(132) 


THE   ANTINOMIAN    DISPUTE  I33 

Hutchinson  to  Boston  in  1634,  Mr.  Henry  Vane  in  1635,  and  Mrs. 
Hutchinson's  husband's  brother-in-law,  Rev.  John  Wheelwright,  in 
1636.  The  views  of  Mrs.  Hutchinson,  embraced  as  they  were  in  large 
degree  not  only  by  the  two  whose  names  have  been  associated 
with  hers,  but  by  a  majority  of  the  Boston  church,  were  stigma- 
tized by  her  opponents  as  "Antinomian";  and  certainly  laid  far  too 
much  stress  on  the  believer's  confidence  in  his  good  estate,  rather 
than  visible  betterment  in  his  character,  as  evidence  of  his  ac- 
ceptance with  God.  However  worthy  of  respect  Mrs.  Hutchinson 
herself  may  have  been,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  contro- 
versy raised  by  her  came  perilously  near  wrecking  the  infant  col- 
onies ;  and  the  greatness  of  the  danger  explains  in  part,  without 
justifying,  the  severe  measures  of  repression  employed  by  the 
churches  and  the  government.'  The  dispute  occasioned  the  call- 
ing by  the  Massachusetts  General  Court  ^  of  the  first  Synod  ever 
held  in  New  England,  an  assembly  which  met  on  Aug.  30,  1637,^ 
at  what  is  now  Cambridge,  and  continued  in  session,  with  Thomas 
Hooker^  and  Peter  Bulkeley,^  as  moderators,  for  twenty-four 
days.  By  this  Synod  some  eighty-two  opinions,  ascribed  to  or 
said  to  be  deducible  from  the  teachings  of  Mrs.  Hutchinson,  and 
other  disturbers  of  the   churches  at  the  time,  were  condemned.'^ 


^  The  sources  and  literature  of  this  controversy  are  presented  in  an  admirable  bibliographical 
note  by  Winsor  in  the  Memorial  History  of  Boston^  Boston,  1882,  I  :  176,  177.  To  the  summary 
there  given  the  writer  may  add  as  having  appeared  since  the  publication  of  the  History,  a  contem- 
porary document  of  the  first  importance,  communicated  by  Prof.  F.  B.  Dexter,  to  the  2  Proc.  Mass. 
Hist.  Soc,  IV  :  159-191,  from  the  MSS.  collected  by  Pres.  Stiles,  and  giving  a  report  of  the  trial  of 
Anne  Hutchinson.  The  controversy  has  been  discussed  from  various  points  of  view  by  G.  L. 
Walker,  Hist.  First  Cli.  in  Hartford,  Hartford,  1884,  pp.  97-103  ;  Brooks  Adams,  Emancipation 
oy Mass.,  Boston,  1887,  pp.  44-78;  Doyle,  The  English  in  America,  Puritan  Colonies,  London, 
1887,  1 :  173-189  ;  G.  E.  Ellis,  Puritan  Age  .  .  in  .  .  Mass.,  Boston,  1888,  pp.  300-362. 
Dr.  Winsor  does  not  include  Punchard,  History  0/  Congregationalism,  Boston,  1880,  IV  :  196-248. 
who  gives  a  good  sketch  of  the  controversy  and  its  results ;  and  since  Winsor's  note  was  written 
Charles  Francis  Adams  has  published  a  picturesque  and  valuable  narrative  of  the  dispute  in  his 
Three  Episodes  of  Mass.  History,  Boston,  1892,  pp.  363-578. 

2  The  fact  of  this  call  is  not  mentioned  in  the  Colony  Records  or  Winthrop,  but  may  be  de- 
duced from  the  latter's  statement  that  the  diet  of  the  Synod  and  the  traveling  expenses  of  the 
delegates  from  Connecticut  were  paid  by  the  government.     Savage's  ed.  1853,  1 :  288. 

3  A  contemporary  account  of  its  proceedings  is  to  be  found  in  Winthrop,  Hid.,  I  :  284-288. 
In  attendance  "  were  all  the  teaching  elders  through  the  country,  and  some  new  come  out  of 
England." 

••  Of  Hartford,  Conn. 

5  Of  Concord,  Mass. 

*  These  opinions  are  given  in  Winthrop  and  Welde's  Short  Story  of  the  Rise,  reign,  and 
ruine  of  the  Antinotnians,  Familists  Ss"  Libertines,  that  infected  the  Ch^trches  of  Nevz'  Eng- 
land, London,  1644  ;  but  are  more  accessible  in  Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History  of  N.  E.,  Boston, 
1855,  1 :  313-319- 


134  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1645 

But  the  most  effective,  if  least  creditable,  termination  to  the  dan- 
gerous dispute  was  given  not  by  the  Synod,  but  by  the  Court,  in 
banishing  Wheelwright  and  Mrs.  Hutchinson  and  some  of  their 
prominent  supporters  from  the  Massachusetts  jurisdiction,  by  its 
sentence  on  November  2,  1637.' 

These  internal  conflicts  were,  however,  only  a  portion  of  the 
difficulties  in  which  the  early  New  England  churches  found  them- 
selves involved.  As  has  already  been  pointed  out,  though  the 
churches  of  Massachusetts  Bay  and  of  Connecticut  had  left  Eng- 
land as  Non-Conformists  rather  than  Separatists,  and  though  in- 
fluential churches,  like  that  of  Boston,  still  refused  to  reject  the 
Church  of  England  as  anti-Christian,  they  had  all  of  them  never- 
theless organized  on  the  model  set  by  Separatist  Plymouth.  It 
was  natural  that  such  action  should  excite  a  degree  of  alarm  in 
the  minds  of  those  Puritans  in  England  who  still  hoped  for  the 
reformation  of  the  Establishment,  and  especially  that  dominant 
wing  of  English  Puritanism  whose  non-conformity  looked  rather  in 
the  direction  of  Presbyterianism  than  Congregationalism.  Such 
alarm  found  expression  in  1636  or  1637  in  A  Letter-  of  Many  Minis- 
ters in  Old  England,  requesting  The  judgement  of  their  Reverend 
Brethren  in  New  England  eoneerning  A'ine  Positions,  zuritten  Anno 
Dom.  1637.^  These  questions  have  to  do  with  the  use  of  a  liturgy, 
admission  to  the  sacraments,  church-membership,  excommunication, 
and  ministerial  standing.  To  this  letter  of  inquiry  the  ministers 
of  New  England  responded  at  some  length  in  1638  and  1639,  by 
the  pen  of  John  Davenport,^  pastor  of  the  church  at  New  Haven. 


1  Records,     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  I  ;  207. 

2  So  the  title  page  of  the  first  edition  of  this  document,  1643  ;  but  Shepard  and  Allin  credit 
its  sending  to  1636.  See  Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  N.  E.,  1 :  277.  The  Letter  to  New  England,  the  Reply, 
and  Ball's  Rejoinder  were  printed  in  one  small  volume  in  London  in  1643.  The  same  year,  also, 
the  New  England  answers  were  printed  at  London,  together  with  Richard  Mather's  Answer  to  the 
XXXII  Questions,  about  to  be  noted,  and  his  reply  to  Bernard  regarding  Church-Covenant  —  the 
whole  under  the  title  of  Church-Government  and  Church-Cove7iant  Discvssed,  etc.,  and  fur- 
nished with  a  preface  by  Hugh  Peter.  The  Letter,  Replies,  and  Rejoinder  are  given  in  copious 
extract  by  Hanbury,  Historical  Memorials,  II:  18-39;  ^"d  the  Positions  may  be  found  also  in 
Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  N.  E.,\:  i-j-j  ;  and  a  summary  of  the  Answers,  Ibid.,  366-368. 

3  On  its  authorship  see  I.  INIather,  Discourse  Concerning  the  Unla^v fulness  of  Common 
Prayer,  [1689]  p.  14.  The  first  copy  miscarried,  1638,  and  the  reply  was  sent  anew  in  1639.  See 
Church-Government,  as  cited,  pp.  24,  28  ;  and  Shepard  and  Allin's  Defe7!ce  (Hanbury,  IMemorials, 
III:  36). 


TRACTS   BY   DAVENPORT   AND    MATHER  135 

A  rejoinder,  by  Rev.  John  Ball  on  the  part  of  the  English  critics, 
followed  in  1640;  and  a  defense  of  the  New  England  answers  by 
Rev.  Thomas  Shepard  of  Cambridge,  Mass.,  and  Rev.  Thomas 
Allin  of  Charlestown,  in  1645.' 

About  the  time"  that  the  N'iiie  Positions  were  sent  over  to  New 
England  the  English  Puritans  also  forwarded  to  their  brethren 
across  the  sea  a  list  of  Tliiriy-tii.'o  Qi/csfio/is  for  answer.^  These 
inquiries  covered  the  whole  field  of  church  polity  and  procedure, 
treating  of  such  matters  as  the  constitution  of  a  church,  the  con- 
ditions of  membership  therein,  the  churchly  character  of  English 
parishes,  the  ministry,  the  brethren  and  their  methods  of  proce- 
dure, ministerial  settlement  and  standing,  and  lay-preaching;  as 
well  as  of  doctrinal  symbols  and  the  legislative  powers  of  synods 
and  councils.  And  to  these  questions  also  the  churches  of  New 
England  sent  a  full  and  candid  reply  by  the  pen  of  Rev.  Richard 
INIather,  of  Dorchester,  in  1639.^ 

The  Congregationalism  of  both  these  replies  is  of  the  type  of 
Barrowe  rather  than  that  of  Browne.  It  gives  practically  all  power 
into  the  hands  of  the  officers  of  the  church,  and  leaves  to  the 
brethren   little  more  than  a  bare  right  to  consent.^     But  if  this 


^  A  Defence  of  the  Ans"^i}cr  made  unto  the  q  questions  .  .  .  against  the  Reply  thejcto 
of  John  Ball,  etc.,  London,  1645.  The  more  essential  portions  are  reprinted  in  Hanbury,  liletiio- 
rials.  III :  33-43. 

2  Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  X.  E.,  I  :  278. 

3  These  Questions  were  published,  with  Mather's  Answers,  at  London  in  1643,  in  the  book 
entitled  Church-Government  and  Church-Covenant  Discvssed,  etc.,  cited  in  note,  p.  134.  The 
Questions  are  also  given  in  Felt,  Ibid.,  1 :  278-282  ;  and  the  Answers  are  epitomized,  Ibid.,  pp.  380-386. 

■>  Mather  speaks  in  the  name  of  the  New  England  mmisters  throughout  his  tract,  and  his  son. 
Increase  Mather,  expressly  affirmed  that  "what  he  wrote  was  approved  of  by  other  Elders,  espe- 
cially by  Mr.  Cotton,  unto  whom  he  Communicated  it."  Order  of  the  Gospel,  Boston,  1700,  p.  73. 
See  also  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  426.  But  a  passage  in  Cotton's  Reply  to  Mr.  Williams  his  ex- 
amination (printed  in  1647,  reprinted  in  Pub.  Karragansett  Club,  Providence,  1867,  II:  103), 
which  Dr.  Dexter  seems  to  have  overlooked,  makes  it  evident  that  though  Mather's  sentiments  had 
the  approval  of  the  New  England  ministry,  the  Answers  were  not  submitted  to  them.  "Though 
he  [R.  Williams]  say,  that  M'.  Cotton,  and  the  New-English  Elders  returned  that  Answer  [the  31"] : 
yet  the  answer  to  that  Question,  and  to  all  the  other  thirty-two  Questions,  were  drawne  up  by  M'. 
Mader,  and  neither  drawne  up  nor  sent  by  me,  nor  (for  ought  I  know)  by  the  other  Elders  here, 
though  published  by  one  of  our  Elders  [Hugh  Peter]  there."  But  though  Cotton  had  no  share  in 
the  composition  of  the  Answers,  he  approved  them,  for  he  goes  on,  in  the  ne.xt  paragraph,  to  say: 
"  I  have  read  it,  and  did  readily  approve  it  (as  I  doe  the  substance  of  all  his  Answers)  to  be  judi- 
cious, and  solide."  The  same  fact  is  attested  by  the  Preface  to  the  Disputation  concerning 
Church  Members,  London,  1659  (/.  c,  result  of  Half- Way  Covenant  Convention  of  1657):  "The 
32  Questions,  the  Answerer  whereof  was  Mr.  Richard  Mather,  and  not  any  other  Elder  or  Elders  in 
New  England." 

^  See  Davenport's  answer  to  the  5th  Position,  Church-Government  and  Church-Covenant 
Discvsscd,  p.  72  ;  and  Richard  Mather's  reply  to  the  15th  Question,  Ibid.,  pp.  47-60.  Compare  also 
Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  425-430. 


136  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1 645 

type  of  Congregationalism  was  not  far  removed  from  Presbyteri- 
anism  in  the  administration  of  the  internal  affairs  of  the  individual 
church  by  its  officers,  it  was  widely  at  variance  with  the  Presby- 
terian model  in  regard  to  the  power  of  synods  over  the  churches 
and  the  right  of  each  church  to  set  apart  its  ministry.'  In  these 
matters  the  New  England  apologists  asserted  a  much  larger  liberty 
than  Presbyterianism  would  countenance. 

But  Presbyterianism  had  always  been  popular  among  the  Puri- 
tans of  England,  and  as  the  struggle  with  Charles  wore  on,  and 
Scotch  influence  grew  in  English  counsels,  Presbyterian  predomi- 
nance in  the  mother-land  became  more  marked.  The  first  of  July, 
1643,  saw  the  meeting  of  the  Westminster  Assembly,  the  great 
ecclesiastical  council  which  Parliament  had  summoned  by  an  ordi- 
nance of  June  12,  of  that  year,  to  give  advice  as  to  the  reformation 
of  the  Church  of  England.^  This  body,  as  is  well  known,  was  over- 
whelmingly Presbyterian  in  sentiment,  the  Congregationalists  be- 
ing represented  by  only  five  men  of  prominence  and  a  few  of  com- 
parative insignificance  in  the  Assembly ;  though  this  proportion, 
fair  enough  perhaps  at  the  time  when  the  Assembly  was  called, 
was  far  from  representing  the  strength  of  Congregationalism  in 


1  See  answers  to  the  7th  and  Sth  Positions,  Ibid.,  pp.  76-78  ;  and  to  the  i8th  Question,  Ibid., 
pp.  62-66. 

2  The  Westminster  Assembly  was  in  regular  session  from  July  i,  1643,  to  Feb.  22,  1649.  It 
never  formally  adjourned,  and  continued  to  meet,  in  some  sort,  till  March  25,  1652.  Its  work  em- 
braced (a)  Directory  for  the  Publiqiie  Worship  of  God,  etc.,  prepared  in  1644,  and  approved  by 
Parliament  Jan.  3,  1645.  (h)  Advice  for  Ordination  of  Ministers  and  the  Settling  of  Presbyterian 
Government ;  modified  and  approved  by  Parliament  in  November,  1645,  June,  1646,  and  June,  1647 
(see  also  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen.     Bibliog.  Nos.  1233,  4,  g6).     By  the  approval  of  these  recommenda- 

.  tions,  and  by  express  ordinances  in  August,  1645,  Presbyterianism  became  the  legal  form  of  church- 
government  in  England,  though  actually  put  into  complete  practice  only  in  London  and  Lancashire, 
(c)  Humble  Advice  •.  .  .  concerning  a  Confession  of  Faith  (the  Westminster  Confession), 
presented  to  Parliament  Dec.  4,  1646  ;  adopted  by  the  Scotch  General  Assembly,  Aug.  27,  1647  ; 
somewhat  amended  by  Parliament  in  the  governmental  articles,  and  issued  for  England  June  20, 
1648.  {d)  A  Larger  Catechism,  and  A  Shorter  Catechism,  presented  to  Parliament  in  October 
and  November,  1647,  and  by  it  approved  Sept.  15,  1648.  The  Scotch  General  Assembly  approved 
July  20  and  28,  1648,  respectively. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  observe  that  this  great  council,  which  formulated  the  beliefs  of  Scot- 
land and  Presbyterian  America,  was  essentially  Puritan  in  composition.  One  hundred  and  fifty 
persons  were  called  to  it  by  Parliament  (149  only  appear  in  the  Lord's  Journal,  but  Prof.  Masson 
has  shown  this  to  be  a  probable  error.  See  h\%  Life  of  John  Milton,  II:  515-525,  where  the  full 
list  of  members  is  given,  with  biographical  notes).  Of  this  150,  30  were  laymen,  the  remaining  120 
being  almost  to  a  man  clergymen  of  the  Church  of  England.  A  considerable  proportion  absented 
themselves.  To  this  body,  eight  Scotch  commissioners,  five  clerical  and  three  lay,  had  the  right  to 
add  their  presence  and  their  voices  in  debate.  They  were  chosen  by  the  Scotch  General  Assembly, 
Aug.  19,  1643.  The  composition  and  work  of  the  Assembly  is  well  described,  and  its  literature 
pointed  out,  by  Schaff,  Creeds  of  Christendom,  I  ;  727-820;  see  also  Masson,  Z/y"t'  of  John  Milton, 
II:  609  —  IV:  d-^,  passim. 


PRESBYTERIANISM    IN   NEW   ENGLAND  1 37 

the  nation  after  the  acceptance  of  its  main  principles  by  Cromwell 
and  the  army.' 

It  was  natural  that,  though  New  England  had  embraced  Con- 
gregationalism of  the  IJarrowist  type,  this  growth  of  Presbyterian- 
ism  in  England  should  not  be  without  its  influence  on  this  side  of 
the  water.  Particularly  was  this  the  case  at  Newbury,  where 
Thomas  Parker  and  James  Noyes  were  pastor  and  teacher.  These 
honored  ministers  wished  to  do  away  with  the  right  of  consultation 
and  assent  which  the  Barrowist  Congregationalism  of  New  England 
left  to  the  brethren  in  matters  of  church  discipline.  They  would 
gladly  see  partial  Presbyterianism  introduced,  and  looked  to  the 
Westminster  Assembly  as  a  hopeful  means  for  the  accomplishment 
of  this  result.  These  views  brought  trouble  into  the  church  at  New- 
bury, and  the  result  was  the  assembly  of  a  general  meeting  of  the 
ministers  of  the  colonies,  a  body  which  has  sometimes,  though 
erroneously,  been  styled  a  Synod,"  and  ranked  the  second  in  date 
among  the  Synods  of  New  England.  But  the  testimony  of  Richard 
Mather,  himself  a  member,  to  its  non-synodical  character  is  too 
strong  to  be  set  aside,'  and  is  supported  by  Winthrop's  statement 


•  The  Congregalionalists  or  Independents  in  the  Westminster  Assembly,  though  few,  vigor- 
ously sustained  their  views  and  were,  on  the  whole,  treated  with  much  respect,  though  outvoted  at 
all  points.  As  early  as  Dec.  30,  1643  (on  date  see  Masson's  Milton,  III:  23,  24),  Rev.  Messrs. 
Thomas  Goodwin,  Philip  Nye,  Sidrach  Simpson,  Jeremiah  Burroughes,  and  William  Bridge,  joined 
in  a  sweet-tempered  and  modest  publication,  under  the  title  of  An  Apotogeticall  Narration  hvmbly 
svbmitted  to  the  Honourable  Houses  of  Parliament^  London,  1643.  In  this  tract  they  declare 
their  entire  agreement  in  points  of  doctrine  with  the  Presbyterian  wing  of  the  Assembly,  but  desire 
permission  to  exercise  a  degree  of  liberty  in  matters  of  church-government.  In  1645  we  find  these 
men,  with  William  Greenhill  and  William  Carter,  uniting  in  A  Remonstrance  Lately  Delivered  in 
to  the  Assembly,  London,  1645,  '"  which  they  excuse  themselves  for  not  presenting  a  full  model  of 
Congregational  church-government,  on  the  ground  that  in  view  of  recent  votes  of  Parliament  and 
the  tone  of  the  Assembly  it  would  be  useless.  A  few  other  names  of  Congregationalists  in  the 
Assembly,  making  perhaps  a  dozen  in  all,  may  be  found  in  Schaff,  Creeds,  1 :  737.  See  also  Dexter, 
Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  647-659.  Of  the  New  England  ministers.  Cotton,  Davenport,  and  Hooker  were 
offered  elections  to  the  Assembly,  but  declined  to  go. 

^  So  Dexter,  Cong:  as  seen,  p.  432. 

3  Samuel  Rutherford,  in  his  Due  right  oy  Presbyteries,  London,  1644,  pp.  476-481,  gives  some 
"Synodicall  propositions"  which  he  had  received  by  letter  from  New  England.  Richard  Mather, 
in  his  /vc/Zj-  to  Mr.  Ruthcrfurd,  London,  1647,  pp.  77,  78  (the  pages  should  have  been  numbered 
87,  88,  the  figures  71-80  being  repeated),  thus  comments  upon  them  :  "  There  was  indeed  at  Cam- 
bridge \n  the  year  1643,  a  printed  [private?]  conference  of  some  of  the  Elders  of  that  Country; 
where  sundry  points  of  Church  judgement  were  privatly  discoursed  of,  and  this  was  all.  But  as  the 
meeting  was  not  any  Synod,  as  Synods  are  usually  understood,  so  neither  were  there  any  Synodicall 
propositions  there  agreed  upon.  .  .  .  This  I  am  able  to  testifie,  having  been  present  at  that 
meeting  from  the  beginning  thereof  unto  the  end:  .  .  .  What  information  he  goeth  upon,  I 
know  not:  peradventure  some  notes  may  have  come  to  his  view,  which  one  or  other  might  gather 
at  that  conference  for  his  own  private  use :  Peradventure  some  in  their  simplicity  meaning  no  hurt, 
10 


138  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1 645 

that  it  "  was  an  assembl)'^  ...  of  all  the  elders  in  the  country, 
(about  50  in  all,)  such  of  the  ruling  elders  as  would  were  present 
also,  but  none  else."'  It  lacked  the  presence  of  representatives  of 
the  brethren  of  the  churches  which  distinguishes  a  Synod  from  a 
ministerial  Convention. 

The  sessions  of  the  meeting  were  held  at  Cambridge,  and  the 
participants  were  entertained  in  the  recently  erected  college  build- 
ing much  after  the  manner  of  students.'  The  Convention  opened 
on  September  4,  1643,  and  had  for  its  moderators  Cotton  and 
Hooker.^  How  long  its  sessions  lasted  we  do  not  know,  but  it 
ended  in  a  presentation  of  arguments  on  both  sides  and  a  disap- 
proval of  some  features  of  Presbyterianism.  The  positive  action 
of  the  meeting  was  summed  up  by  a  contemporary  observer,  doubt- 
less a  member  of  the  assembly,  as  follows: — * 

"We  have  had  a  Synod  lately,  in  our  College,  wherein  sundry  things  were 
agreed  on  gravely;  as,  i.  That  the  votes  of  the  People  are  needful  in  all  admissions 
and  excommunications,  at  least  in  way  of  consent ;  all  yielding  to  act  with  their  con- 
sent.—  2.  That  those  that  are  fit  matter  for  a  church,  though  they  are  not  always 
able  to  make  large  and  particular  relations  of  the  work  and  doctrine  of  Faith,  yet 
must  not  live  in  the  commission  of  any  known  sin,  or  the  neglect  of  any  known  duty. 
—  3.  That  Consociation^  of  churches,  in  way  of  more  general  meetings,  yearly;  and 
more  privately,  monthly,  or  quarterly  ;  as  Consultative  Synods  ;  are  very  comfortable, 
and  necessary  for  the  peace  and  good  of  the  churches. —  4.  It  was  generally  desired 
That  the  exercitium  of  the  churches'  power  might  only  be  in  the  Eldership  in  each 
Particular  Church;^  unless  their  sins  be  apparent  in  their  work.- — 5.  That  Parish 
Churches  in  Old  England  could  not  be  right  without  a  renewed  Covenant  at  least, 
and  the  refusers  excluded." 

The  grounds  of  these  decisions,  in  so  far  as  they  were  anti- 
Presbyterian,  were  referred  to  the  brethren  of  Newbury  for  their 
further  consideration;'  but,  unfortunately,  the  work  of  the  minis- 


may  have  called  that  private  conference  by  the  name  and  tearme  of  a  Synod  .  .  .  But  however 
they  [the]  mistake  a  Rose  [arose],  sure  I  am,  Synodicall  propositions  there  were  none;  nor  any 
Synod  at  all." 

1  Winthrop,  ed.  1853,  II  :  165.  2  //,/,,'.  3  //,/^. 

■*  This  statement  of  the  result  of  the  meeting  was  contained  in  a  letter  from  an  unnamed 
writer  in  New  England  to  a  minister  in  England,  quoted  in  A  Reply  of  two  of  the  Brethren  to 
A.  S.  .  .  ,  and  some  modest  and  innocent  touches  on  the  Letter  from  Zeland^  and  Mr. 
Parkers  front  Nciti  England,  etc.,  London,  1644,  p.  7.  The  passage  is  quoted  by  Hanbury,  Me- 
7Horzals,  II  :  343. 

6  This  word  was  not  yet  used  in  the  technical  sense  in  which  it  was  afterward  employed  in 
Connecticut  —  a  modern  "conference"  is  more  the  thought  here. 

'  This  is  pure  Barrowism. 

'Winthrop,  II:  165:  "The  assembly  concluded  against  some  parts  of  the  presbyterial  way, 
and  the  Newbury  ministers  took  time  to  consider  the  arguments,  etc."     We  are  fortunately  in  pos- 


THE    MIXISTERIAT,   COWEXTION,   1643  1 39 

ters  neither  changed  the  opinions  of  Xoyes  and  Parker  nor  healed 
the  trouble  in  the  Newbury  church.' 

But  Presbyterianism  was  rapidly  gaining  ground  in  England 
since  Scotch  military  support  seemed  indispensable  to  the  main- 
tenance of  the  Parliamentary  side  in  the  conflict  with  the  King. 
The  same  month  in  which  the  ministers'  Convention  of  1643  held 
its  sessions  at  Cambridge  saw  the  adoption  of  the  Scotch  Covenant 
by  Parliament  and  the  army,  and  the  completion  of  the  alliance 
between  Parliament  and  the  northern  kingdom.  The  political 
and  religious  activity  of  the  period  was  productive  of  a  flood  of 
pamphlets  and  books,  many  of  which  bore  upon  questions  of  deep 
interest  to  the  Congregationalists  of  New  England;  and  some 
directly  criticized  the  New  England  polity  from  a  Presbyterian 
standpoint.  Such  a  work  was  Prof.  Samuel  Rutherford's  Due  right 
of  Presbyteries,  etc.,^  a  treatise  in  favor  of  the  government  of  the 
Church  of  Scotland,  of  which  the  author  was  one  of  the  brightest 
ornaments.  Rutherford  here  opposed,  in  kindly  spirit  and  with 
much  learning,  the  New  England  view,  as  set  forth  in  Cotton's 
Way  of  the  Churches^  then  being  circulated  in  England  in  manu- 


session  of  ^Ir.  Parker's  own  version  of  the  difficulty  and  the  result.  Under  date  of  Dec.  17,  1643, 
he  wrote  to  a  friend  in  the  Westminster  Assembly  as  follows:  "  I  assure  you  we  have  a  great  need 
of  help  in  the  way  of  Discipline,  and  we  hope  that  we  shall  receive  much  light  from  you  . 
although  we  [Parker  and  Noyes]  hold  a  fundamental  power  of  Government  in  the  People,  in  respect 
of  election  of  ministers,  and  of  some  acts  in  cases  extraordinary,  as  in  the  want  of  ministers  •  yet  we 
judge,  upon  mature  deliberation,  that  the  ordinary  e.xercise  of  Government  must  be  so  in  the  Pres- 
byters as  not  to  depend  upon  the  express  votes  and  suffrages  of  the  People.  There  hath  been  a 
convent,  or  meeting,  of  the  Ministers  of  these  parts,  about  this  question  at  Cambridge,  in  the  Bay  ; 
and  there  we  have  proposed  our  arguments,  and  answered  theirs ;  and  they  proposed  theirs,  and 
answered  us:  and  so  the  point  is  left  to  consideration."  Tri'e  Copy  0/  a  Letter  '<i.'riticn  by  Mr. 
T\Jiomas\  P\arker^  .  .  .  Declaring  his  Judgement  touching  the  Government  practised  in 
the  Chs.  0/  N.  E.,  London,  1644. 

•  Noyes  published  "  what  are  the  points  he  holds,  and  wherein  he  can  or  cannot  concur  with 
them  [his  fellow-ministers  in  N.  E.],  and  the  Reasons  why,"  in  The  Temple  Measured,  etc.,  Lon- 
don, 1647.  I"  'his  work  he  takes  Presbyterian  ground,  save  on  the  matter  of  governing  elders, 
who  are  not  to  be  distinct  in  office  but  are  the  ministers.  For  the  later  troubles  in  Newbury 
church,  see  Coffin,  Shetch  0/  the  Hist,  of  Neiuhiiry,  Boston,  1845,  pp.  44,  54,  72-115. 

''Printed  at  London,  1644.  Rutherford  —  i6oo?-i66i  —  was  born  at  Nisbet,  Scotland,  and 
studied  at  Edinborough,  where  he  taught  after  graduation.  In  1627  he  settled  at  Anworth,  but  was 
deprived  in  1636  for  opposition  to  the  attempts  to  introduce  Episcopacy  into  Scotland.  In  1639  the 
Presbyterian  reaction  made  him  profes.sor  of  divinity  at  St.  Andrews.  He  sat  as  a  Scotch  commis- 
sioner in  the  Westminster  Assembly.  In  1661  he  died,  just  as  the  restored  monarchy  was  proceed- 
ing against  him  for  treason. 

8  Cotton's  Way  0/  the  Churches  0/  Christ  in  Ne'.u-England.  Or  the  Way  0/  Churches 
walking  in  Brotherly  equalitie,  or  co-ordination,  luithout  Subjection  0/ one  Church  to  another, 
got  to  England  in  manuscript  and  was  published  in  1645,  the  year  after  Rutherford's  work  appeared, 
by  "a  Brownistieal  Author,  without  Mr.  Cotton's  Consent  or  Knowledge"  ;  though  exactly  why 


140  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1645 

script,  and  in  the  recent  works  of  Richard  Mather  in  reply  to  the 
XXXII  Questions,  on  Church-Covenant,'  and  in  answer  to  Herle.' 
He  also  controverted  the  positions  of  Robinson's  Ivstification  of 
Separation  from  the  Clii/rc/i  of  England,^  and  T/ie  Peoples  Plea  for 
the  Exercise  of  Prophesie*  both  of  which  had  recently  been  re. 
printed.  In  general,  Rutherford  proved  himself  familiar  with  a 
wide  range  of  Congregational  literature,  and  showed  himself  able 
to  put  his  own  case  clearly  and  effectively.  Such  a  critic  was  not 
to  be  despised,  nor  was  he  alone  in  attacking  the  New  England 
system.  In  spite  of  the  publication  of  Cotton's  great  exposition  of 
Congregational  principles,  T/ie  Keyes  of  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven,  in 
the  same  year  that  Rutherford's  work  appeared,  it  was  felt  that  a 
direct  rejoinder  must  be  made.  And  for  this  task  no  fitter  pen 
could  be  found  than  that  of  Thomas  Hooker^  of  Hartford,  the  peer 


Cotton  should  have  seriously  objected  is  not  very  evident  to  a  modern  reader.  See  Owen,  De/e7ice 
c/  Mr.  John  Cotton^  etc.,  1658,  pp.  36-38  ;  Mather,  Ratio  Discipliiics,  p.  ii ;  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen, 
434.  Rutherford  quotes  from  the  manuscript,  and  with  some  verbal  freedom,  as  tested  by  the 
printed  text. 

1  See  ante,  p,  134,  note  2. 

2  Mather  and  Tompson,  Modest  &"  Brotherly  Ansvz'er  to  jlfr.  Charles  Herle  his  Book, 
against  the  Independency  of  Chtirches.     London,  1644. 

3  1610.  *  1618.     The  works  were  reprinted  in  1639  and  1641  respectively. 

5  Thomas  Hooker,  probably  the  ablest  of  the  early  New  England  ministers,  was  born  at  Mar- 
field,  Leicester  County,  England,  probably  July  7,  15S6.  After  preparation,  probably  at  Market  Bos- 
worth,  he  entered  Queen's  College  and  then  Emmanuel  at  Cambridge,  graduating  A.B.  in  1608  and 
A.M.  in  i6ii,  and  holding  a  fellowship  after  graduation.  About  1620  he  became  rector  of  Esher, 
Surrey,  a  "  donative  "  living,  or  one  which  could  be  given  without  the  necessity  of  an  order  from  a 
bishop  inducting  the  candidate.  He  then  became  "lecturer,"  or  supplementary  Puritan  preacher, 
at  St.  Mary's,  Chelmsford,  about  1625  or  1626;  preaching  there  with  great  popular  success.  This 
of  course  attracted  the  unfavorable  notice  of  Laud,  who,  as  bishop  of  London,  compelled  him  to 
relinquish  his  place,  apparently  in  1629.  Hooker  then  opened  a  school,  in  connection  with  John 
Eliot,  the  later  Indian  missionary,  at  Little  Baddow,  near  Chelmsford ;  but  he  was  not  long  allowed 
to  remain  in  peace.  In  1630  he  was  summoned  before  the  High  Commission,  and  fled  to  Holland  to 
avoid  appearance.  Here  he  lived  for  a  short  time  at  Amsterdam,  and  then  for  two  years  as  asso- 
ciate minister  of  the  English  (Xon-conformist)  church  at  Delft.  He  went  thence  to  Rotterdam, 
where  he  was  associated  in  the  ministry,  over  the  Puritan  church  at  that  place,  with  Dr.  William 
Ames.  Meanwhile  his  English  friends  in  considerable  numbers  had  gone  to  New  England,  and 
settled  first  at  Mt.  WoUaston  and  then  at  Newtown  —  soon  to  be  called  Cambridge  —  and  there 
awaited  his  ministry.  He  therefore  came  to  New  England  in  1633,  with  Samuel  Stone  of  Hertford 
and  Towcester  who  was  to  be  teacher  of  Mr.  Hooker's  congregation.  On  Oct.  11,  1633,  Hooker 
and  Stone  were  chosen  pastor  and  teacher  by  the  waiting  congregation  at  Newtown.  In  1636  they, 
with  a  majority  of  their  church,  removed  to  what  was  to  be  known  as  Hartford.  Hooker  was  from 
his  first  coming  prominent  in  all  colonial  affairs.  He  was  a  moderator  at  the  Synod  of  1637  and 
the  Convention  of  1643.  He  was  instrumental  in  preparing  the  "  Fundamental  Laws,"  the  first 
written  constitution  not  only  of  Connecticut,  but  of  English-speaking  peoples,  in  1639.  He  was  in- 
vited by  the  Independents  in  Parliament  to  be  one  of  three  (with  Davenport  and  Cotton)  to 
enter  the  Westminster  Assembly  from  New  England.  Hooker  died  at  Hartford,  July  7,  1647. 
His  preaching  was  effective  ;  his  power  in  argument  great.  His  theology  was  strongly  Calvinistic, 
of  the  type  later  known  as  Hopkinsian. 

Among  many  sources  of  information   respecting  Hooker,  the   following  may  be  mentioned : 


hooker's  "  SURVEY '  141 

of  Rutherford  in  learning  and  inferior  to  none  of  the  New  England 
ministry  in  ability.  His  answer,  A  Survey  of  the  Suinme  of  Church- 
Discipline,  was  presented  for  the  approval  of  a  meeting  of  the  min- 
isters of  all  the  New  England  colonies  held  at  Cambridge,  July  i, 
1645,  expressly  to  consider  what  action  should  be  taken  in  view  of 
the  attacks  of  Presbyterians  and  Anabaptists.'  But  the  original 
draft  of  the  work  was  lost  on  its  way  to  England,  by  the  founder- 
ing of  the  ship  which  carried  it,^  and  it  was  only  after  Hooker's 
death  that  a  second,  and  somewhat  imperfect,  copy  was  put  into 
print  by  his  Hartford  friends.^ 

Able  as  the  Survey  unquestionably  is,  it  may  well  be  regretted, 
on  the  score  of  readableness  and  permanent  influence,  that  the 
author  did  not  produce  a  direct  treatise  on  Congregationalism, 
cast  in  the  mold  of  his  own  systematized  thought,  rather  than  the 
repetitious  work  which  his  minute  method  of  answering  Ruther- 


Mather,  Magnalta,  ed.  1853-5,  I:  332-352;  Trumbull,  Hist,  of  Connecticut,  New  Haven,  1S18,  I: 
293,  294;  Edward  W.  Hooker,  Life  of  Thomas  Hooker,  Boston,  1849,  1870;  Sprague,  Annals  of 
the  Am.  Pulpit,  New  York,  1857,  I:  30-37;  Allen,  Am.  Biog.  Diet.,  3d  ed.,  Boston,  1857,  p.  442; 
Appleton's  Cyclopceiiia  of  Am.  Biog.,  \\\ :  251  ;  Goodwin,  in  Diet.  National  Biog.,  XXVH :  295. 
By  far  the  fullest  lives  of  Hooker  are  two  by  G.  L.  Walker,  one  in  his  Hist.  First  Church  in  Hart- 
ford, Hartford,  1884,  pp.  20-145;  and  the  other  in  the  "Makers  of  America"  Series,  New  York, 
1891.  Hooker's  will,  and  a  complete  bibliography  of  Hooker's  writings  by  Dr.  J.  H.  Trumbull,  are 
given  in  connection  with  both  of  these  biographies. 

1  Winthrop,  Savage's  ed.,  1853,  II :  304,  305,  records :  "  Many  books  coming  out  of  England, 
some  in  defence  of  anabaptism  and  other  errors,  and  for  liberty  of  conscience  as  a  shelter  for  their 
toleration,  etc.,  others  in  maintenance  of  the  Presbyterial  government  (agreed  upon  by  the  assembly 
of  divines  in  England)  against  the  congregational  way,  which  was  practised  here,  the  elders  of  the 
churches  throughout  all  the  United  Colonies  agreed  upon  a  meeting  at  Cambridge  this  day  [July  i, 
1645],  where  they  conferred  their  councils  and  examined  the  writings  which  some  of  them  had  pre- 
pared in  answer  to  the  said  books,  which  being  agreed  and  perfected  were  sent  over  into  England  to 
be  printed.  The  several  answers  were  these :  Mr.  Hooker  in  answer  to  Mr.  Rutterford  the  Scotch 
minister  about  Presbyterial  government,  (which  being  sent  in  the  New  Haven  ship  was  lost)." 
What  some  of  these  "many  books"  may  have  been  the  reader  may  judge  by  consulting  the 
crowded  titles  under  1643  and  1644  in  the  bibliographical  portion  of  De.xter's  Cong,  as  seen.  So 
little  is  known  of  this  meeting  that  the  following  note  of  a  deacon  of  the  Dorchester  church  is  of 
value  :  "  i"*  July  1645  in  this  mo  :  the  elders  did  meet  at  Cambridge  in  maltachusets  baye  in  N  :  E 
to  Consider  of  the  motion  made  amonge  the  Comissioners  of  the  4  Confederate  Colloneycs:  when 
they  did  meet  at  Conecticute  viz  to  thinke  of  some  things  that  might  m  ffuture  give  some  testimony 
from  new  Engl  about  the  great  questio  now  in  debate  about  church-Goverment  [/.  e.,  in  the  West- 
minster Assembly,  then  in  session] :  &  notice  hereof  was  given  publikely  in  the  Assembly  at  Dor- 
chester vicesimo  nono  Junii  anno  45  that  it  was  intended  nothinge  to  bind  the  churches  or  iiiovate 
the  practice  there  of  but  only  private  amonge  the  elders  &  was  no  Synod  but  in  such  case  the 
churches  ought  to  have  notice  &  to  send  their  coiriissioners :  &  so  might  express  at  any  tyme,  but 
the  p'sent  notice  was  that  the  church  might  know  how  to  direct  their  prayer  written  y«  daye  above- 
said  by  me  Jo  Wiswall."     Records     .     .     .     First  Ch.  at  Dorchester,  Boston,  1891,  pp.  253-4. 

2  The  celebrated  "phantom  ship,"  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  I:  84. 

3  Printed  at  London  1648.  The  circumstances  are  narrated  by  Edward  Hopkins  and  William 
Goodwin  of  Hartford,  in  an  epistle  prefi.xed  to  the  Survey, 


142  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1 645 

ford  seemed  to  him  to  require.'  But  in  the  preface,  which  he  pre- 
pared, it  would  appear  before  sending  the  first  draft  to  England  in 
January,  1646,'^  Hooker  has  drawn  up  as  clear  a  presentation  of 
Congregational  principles  as  has  ever  been  given  in  the  brief  space 
of  little  more  than  a  page  of  print,  and  one  which  has  a  special 
value  as  having  been  approved  by  all  the  ministers  of  Connecticut 
and  a  large  portion  of  those  of  other  colonies. 

This  statement,  compact  as  it  is,  shows  a  decided  advance  in 
Congregational  development  beyond  anything  yet  reached  in  Eng- 
land or  Holland.  And  nowhere  is  this  more  manifest  than  in  its 
theory  of  the  relation  of  churches  one  to  another,  a  subject  on 
which  it  exhibits  a  definiteness  of  view  to  which  English  Congre- 
gationalists,  even  of  the  present  day,  have  not  yet  attained.  Coun- 
cils, or  "  consociation  of  churches,"  are  the  proper  expedients  by 
which  the  advisory  and  admonitory  relations  of  church  to  church 
may  be  expressed.  Such  councils  may  advise  and  entreat  an 
erring  church;  if  the  church  persist  in  error,  the  churches  com- 
posing the  council  may  renounce  fellowship  with  the  offending 
congregation.  But  excommunication  of  the  erring,  or  the  publica- 
tion of  sentences  of  a  judicial  character,  are  beyond  the  proper 
powers  of  a  council.  Here,  then,  is  the  historic  New  England 
theory  of  the  authority  of  church  councils  clearly  expressed,  and 
as  fully  representative  of  present  American  usage  as  of  the  cus- 
toms of  1645.  It  need  scarcely  be  pointed  out  that  this  view  of 
Hooker  differs  widely  from  the  judicial  theory  of  consociations 
afterwards  adopted  in  Connecticut. 

In  regard  to  ministerial  standing,  Hooker  was  clear,  as  were 
the  New  England  Congregationalists  of  his  day,  that  a  man  was  a 
minister  only  in  connection  with  a  local  church.  On  this  point 
the  usage  of  the  church  universal,  which  regards  a  man  once  set 
apart  to  the  pastoral  calling  as  permanently  enrolled  in  ministerial 
ranks,  has  overcome  the  more  logical  theory  of  early  Congrega- 
tionalism.    In  spite  of  the  protests  of  some  of  the  most  earnest  of 


1  See  observations  by  G.  L.  Walker,  Hist.  First  Church  in  Hartford,  pp.  143,  144. 

"^  There  is  nothing  in  the  preface  which  implies  that  a  copy  of  the  work  had  been  lost,  or  that 
this  was  a  new  draft.  The  conclusion  therefore  seems  plain  that  this  is  the  original  preface,  and  if 
so,  written  between  the  meeting  of  July  i,  1645,  and  January,  1646. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PRINXIPLES  143 

our  modern  e.\;)oncnts  of  Congregational  polity,'  the  theory  of 
Hooker  on  this  matter  does  not  represent  present  usage,  and 
American  Congregationalists  view  one  who  has  been  ordained  to 
the  ministry,  whether  over  a  local  church  or  not,  as  possessed  of 
an  abiding  ministerial  character. 

THE    PRINCIPLES    OF    1 645 

"  If  the  Reader  shall  demand  how  far  this  way  of  Church-pro- 
ceeding receives  approbation  by  any  common  concurrence  amongst 
us:  I  shall  plainly  and  punctually  exprcsse  my  self  in  a  word  of  truth  ^ 
in  these  following  points^  viz. 

Visible  Saints'  are  the  only  true  and  meet  matter,  whereof  a 
visible  Church  should  be  gathered,  and  confoederation  is  the  form.^ 

The  Church  as  Totuni  essentiale,  is,  and  may  be,  before  Officers.^ 


1  See  a  forcible  defence  of  the  older  New  England  view  by  the  late  Dr.  Dexter,  Congrega- 
tionalism  :   What  it  is ;   Whence  it  is.-  How  it  works.     Boston,  1865,  pp.  154-159. 

2  This  subject  is  treated  at  length  in  the  Survey,  Pt.  I :  pp.  13-34.  Hooker  understands  by 
Visible  Saints  persons  who  give  evidence  of  regeneration,  and  their  infant  offspring.  "  Saints  as 
they  are  taken  in  this  controversie  .  .  .  were  members  of  the  Churches,  comprehending  the 
Infants  of  confoederate  believers  under  their  Parents  Covenant,  according  to  i  Cor.  7.  14  .  .  . 
Saints  come  under  a  double  apprehension.  Some  are  such  according  to  Charity  :  Some  according 
to  truth.  Saints  according  to  charity  are  such,  who  in  their  practice  and  profession  (if  we  look  at 
them  in  their  course,  according  to  what  we  see  by  experience,  or  receive  by  report  and  testimony 
from  others,  or  lastly,  look  we  at  their  expressions)  they  savour  so  mtich.,  as  though  they  had 
been  -with  Jesus.  .  .  .  These  we  call  visible  Saints  (leaving  secret  things  to  God).^'  Survey, 
Pt.  I :  'pp.  14,  15. 

3/.  e.,  union  in  a  church-covenant.  Hooker  defines  a  church  as  having  God  for  its  efficient 
cause,  "  visible  saints  "  as  its  "materiall  cause,"  and  the  church-covenant  as  its  "  formall  cause.' 
Survey,  Pt.  1 :  12,  45.  But  Hooker  is  far  from  declaring  that  this  covenant  must  be  formally  ex- 
pressed, though  "  Its  most  according  to  the  compleatnesse  of  the  rule,  and  for  the  better  being  of 
the  Church,  that  there  be  an  explicite  covenant.^''  A  covenant  may  be  ''''  implicite"  "when  in 
their  practice  they  do  that,  whereby  they  make  themselves  ingaged  to  walk  in  such  a  society,  ac- 
cording to  such  rules  of  government,  which  are  exercised  amongst  them,  and  so  submit  themselves 
thereunto:  but  doe  not  make  any  vcrhall  profession  thereof.  Thus  the  people  in  the  parishes  in 
England,  when  there  is  a  Minister  put  upon  them  by  the  Patrone  or  Bishop,  they  constantly  hold 
them  to  the  fellowship  of  the  people  in  such  a  place,  attend  all  the  ordinances  there  used,  and 
the  dispensations  of  the  Minister  so  imposed  upon  them,  submit  thereunto,  perform  all  services 
that  may  give  countenance  or  incouragement  to  the  person  in  this  work  of  his  Ministery.  By  such 
actions,  and  a  yf.rfrf  attendance  upon  all  such  services  and  duties,  they  declare  that  by  their 
practices,  which  others  do  hold  forth  by  publike  profession.  This  ...  I  would  intreat  the 
Reader  to  observe  once  for  all :  that  if  he  meet  with  such  accusations,  that  we  nullifie  all  Churches 
beside  our  own  :  that  upon  our  grounds  received,  there  must  be  no  Churches  in  the  world,  but  in  N. 
England,  or  some  few  set  up  lately  in  old :  that  we  are  rigid  Separatists,  &c  .  .  .  a  wise  meek 
spirit  passeth  by  them,  as  an  unworthy  and  ungrounded  aspersion."     Survey,  Pt.  I :  pp.  47,  48. 

*  This  matter  is  discussed  in  the  Survey,  Pt.  I :  pp.  89-93.  The  position  taken  is  that  while 
the  church  as  an  organized  body —  a  Totum  organicum  —  must  have  officers,  these  officers  exist  by 
virtue  of  the  choice  of  the  church,  which  must  therefore  precede  them  and  have  an  existence  inde- 
pendent of  them.  To  deny  this  is  "  As  if  one  should  say.  It  is  not  a  Corporation  of  Aldermen,  or 
freemen  before  the  Maior  be  chosen.  It  is  true,  it  is  not  a  complcat  corporation  of  Maior  and 
Freemen,  unlesse  there  be  both  :  but  that  hinders  not,  but  they  be  a  corporation  of  Free-men 
united  amongst  themselves,  though  there  be  no  Maior.  Nay,  they  tnust  be  a  corporation,  before 
they  can  chuse  a  Maior.  .  .  .  Doth  a  Corporation,  when  it  puts  out  a  wicked  Maior  out  of  his 
place    .     .     .    nullifie  their  Corporation  by  that  means    .     .     .  ?  "     Survey,  Pt.  I :  p.  92. 


144  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1645 

There  is  no  Presbyteriall  Church  (/.  e.  A  Church  made  up  of 

the  Elders  of  many  Congregations  appointed  Classickwise,  to  rule 

all  those  Congregations)  in  the  N.  T.' 

A  Church  Congregationall  is  the  first  subject  of  the  keys.^ 
Each  Congregation  compleatly  constituted  of  all  Officers,  hath 

sufficient  power  in  her  self,  to  exercise  the  power  of  the  keyes,  and 

all  Church  discipline,  in  all  the  censures  thereof.' 


1  Discussed  in  Survey,  Pt.  I:  pp.  Q4-139.  The  argument  is  varied  and  minute,  but  Hooker 
affirms  that  all  offices  and  officers  are  the  gift  of  Christ  ;  that  where  there  is  no  office  there  is  no 
right  to  rule,  that  a  church  officer  is  to  rule  only  over  his  particular  congregation,  and  that  no  com- 
bination with  other  church  officers  can  give  him  any  right  to  rule  over  a  congregation  not  his  own, 
for  he  has  no  office  over  that  congregation.  If  Presbyterianism  be  true  the  following  points  must 
be  proved:  "  i.  That  a  person  may  be  a  Pastour  to  a  people,  by  zvhom  he  was  never  chosen.  2. 
And  that  he  may  be  a  Pastour  (as  the  Office  of  a  Pastour  is  appointed  by  Christ)  to  such,  to  whom 
he  neither  can  nor  should  preach  constantly.  3.  And  that  he  is  bound  to  exercise  Jurisdiction 
of  ce7tszire,  and  decision  of  doubts  to  such,  to  whom  he  neither  needs,  nor  indeed  is  bound  to  feed 
by  the  word.  4.  or  Lastly,  that  the  Churches  may  give  power  to  a  man  or  men  that  Christ  never 
appointed."     Stirvey,  Pt.  I:  p.  124. 

2  This  technical  expression  of  XVII  century  theology  is  thus  defined  by  Hooker:  "  Ecclesi- 
astical power  made  known  unto  us  usually  in  Scripture  under  the  name  of  Keyes,  the  signe  or  ad- 
junct being  put  for  the  thing  signified,  the  ensigne  of  authority  for  the  authority  it  selfe. 

„,  .  .     ,     ,  ,      \  Supreme  and  Monarchicall, 

Ihis  power  is  double,  -,  „  ,       ^         j  a.-   ■  .    •  n 
(  Delegate  and  Mmisteriall. 

1.  The  5z</r6';«t' and  71/owarc^zVa// power  resides  onely  in  our  Saviour.     .     .     . 

2.  There  is  also  a  subordinate  and  delegated  power,  which  is  proper  to  our  present  disquisi- 
tion, and  is  nothing  else,  but  A  right  given  by  comjnission  from  Christ  to  fit  Persons,  to  act  in 
his  house,  according  to  his  order.''''  Survey,  Pt.  I  :  p.  185.  Cotton  thus  expresses  the  idea  :  "  The 
keys  of  the  kingdom  are  the  Ordinances  which  Christ  hath  instituted,  to  be  administred  in  his 
Church ;  as  the  preaching  of  the  Word,  (which  is  the  opening  and  applying  of  it)  also  the  adminis- 
tring  of  the  Seals  [sacraments]  and  censures."  Keyes,  p.  2.  Hooker's  conclusion  is  that  "  The 
power  of  the  Keyes  is  committed  to  the  Church  of  confederate  Saints."  Survey,  Pt.  I :  p.  192. 
"  In  the  Church,  and  by  vertue  of  the  Church,  they  are  communicated  to  any  that  in  any  measure 
or  manner  share  therein."  Ibid,  195.  "  The  power  of  the  Keyes  take  it  in  the  compleat  nature 
thereof,  its  in  the  Church  of  beleevers,  as  in  the  first  subject,  but  every  part  of  it  is  tiot  in  the 
same  manner  and  order  to  be  attended  for  its  ruling  in  the  Church;  but  in  the  order  and 
7nanner  which  Christ  hath  appointed'''  Ibid.  "  It  is  not  beleevers,  as  beleevers,  that  have  this 
power,  but  as  beleevers  Covenanting  and  fitly  capable  according  to  Christs  appointment,  that  are 
the  first  subject  of  this  power.  For  beleevers  that  are  as  scattered  stones,  and  are  not  seated  in  a 
visible  Church  or  Corporation,  as  setled  in  the  wall,  these  have  not  any  Ecclesiasticall  power." 
Ibid.,  203.  But  even  within  the  church  all  believers  do  not  share  in  the  power  of  the  Keys.  "  This 
power  is  given  to  such  beleevers,  who  are  counted  fit  by  Christ  and  capable,  which  women  and 
Children,  deafe,  and  dumbe,  and  distracted  are  not."     Ibid.,  204. 

3  "  These  keyes,  and  the  power  signified  by  them,  must  be  given  to  such,  who  have  some  of 
this  power  firstly,  and  fortnally,  and  originally,  and  virtually  can  give  the  rest  of  the  power, 
which  so  given,  may  be  fully  exercised  in  all  the  acts  of  binding  and  loosing,  according  to  all  the 
necessities  of  the  Church  and  intendment  of  our  Saviour  Christ.  And  this  may  readily  be  accom- 
plished and  easily  apprehended  to  be  done  by  a  Church  of  beleevers:  They  can  admit,  elect;  this 
formally  belongs  to  them :  and  officers  being  elected  by  them,  the  whole  government  of  the 
Church,  will  then  go  on  in  all  the  operations  thereof,  and  be  fit  to  attain  the  ends,  attended  by  our 
Saviour."     Ibid.,  216. 

The  Officers  appointed  by  the  Gospel  are  as  follows:  Survey,  Pt.  II  :  p.  4. 
"  Officers  of 
the  Gospel 


may  be 
considered 
with  refe- 
rence to 
their 


f  (  Ruling  onely,  as  Elders. 

I   R"'ing     I  Ruling  and  Teaching  both,  as  i  ^^^^°'^^- 

dumber  J  '  I  Doctors  [Teachers]. 

I  „  .         ,         i  State  of  the  body,  as  Deacons, 

supporting  the     -,  ,.     ,  ,  ,,.., 

*^  I  Healtn,  as  Widowes. 


.       .       .        .1  Election. 
Institution,  in   -'         ,. 

)  Ordination. 


TEXT   UF   THE   rRINCIPLES  I45 

Ordination  is  not  before  election.' 

There  ought  to  be  no  ordination  of  a  Minister  at  large, 
JVamely,  such  as  should  make  him  Pastour  without  a  People?' 

The  election  of  the  people  hath  an  instrumental!  causall  ver- 
tue  under  Christ,  to  give  an  outward  call  unto  an  Officer.^ 

Ordination  is  only  a  solemn  installing  of  an  Officer  into  the 
Office,  unto  which  he  was  formerly  called.' 

Children  of  such,  who  are  members  of  Congregations,  ought 
only  to  be  baptized.^ 

The  consent  of  the  people  gives  a  causall  vertue  to  the  com- 
pleating  of  the  sentence  of  excommunication." 


1  Discussed  in  Survey^  Pt.  2,  pp.  39-41,  "  Ordination  doth  depend  upon  X^ae. peoples  law/ull 
Eleciio7i,  as  an  Effect  upon  the  Cause,  by  vertue  of  which  it  is  fully  Administred."     Hid.,  41. 

*  See  //'id.,  Pt.  2,  Ch.  2.  "  I  shall  by  way  of  prevention,  desire  to  settle  that  which  is  our 
tenet  :  That  Doctors  [Teachers]  and  Pastors  may  preach,  to  all  sorts,  upon  all  occasions,  ivhen 
opportu7tity  and  liberty  is  offered,  nay  they  ought  so  to  do.  But  this  they  do  not  as  Pastors, 
but  as  gifted  and  inabled  Christians.  Pt.  4,  pp.  31,  32. 

s  "  Election  0/  the  People  rightly  ordered  by  the  rule  of  Christ,  gives  the  essentials  to  ati 
Offccr,  or  leaves  the  impression  of  a  true  outward  call,  and  so  an  Office-power  upon  a  Pas- 
tor."    Ibid.,  Pt.  2,  p.  66.     See  Ibid.,  66-75. 

*  Ordination  is  an  approbation  of  the  Officer,  and  solemn  seiling  and  confirmation  of 
him  in  his  Office,  by  Prayer  and  laying  on  of  hands.^^  Ibid.,  p.  75.  "  The  maine  weight  of  the 
worke  [ordination]  lyes  in  the  solemnity  of  Prayer;  which  argues  no  act  of  jurisdiction  at  all." 
Ibid.,  74  [75].  "  I.  When  the  Churches  are  rightly  constituted,  and  cojnpleated  with  all  the 
Orders  and  Officers  of  Christ,  the  Right  [perhaps  rite  or  right  use,  the  editors  were  undecided] 
of  Ordination  belongs  to  the  Teaching  Elders  ;  the  Act  appertaines  to  the  Presbyters  consti- 
tuted of  Ruling  and  Teaching.  ...  2.  Though  the  act  of  Ordination  belong  to  the  Prw- 
bytery,  yet  the  jus  6r' potestas  ordinandi,  is  conferred  firstly  upon  the  Church  by  Christ,  and 
resides  in  her.  .  .  .  Thirdly,  in  case  .  .  .  the  condition  of  the  Church  is  such,  that  she  is 
wholly  destitute  of  Presbyters,  she  may  then  out  of  her  07un  power,  given  her  by  Christ,  provide 
for  her  own  comfort,  by  ordaining  her  own  Ministers."   Ibid.,  pp.  76,  77. 

5  Discussed  in  Survey,  Pt.  3,  pp.  10-28.  Hooker  holds  that  all  children  of  church-members, 
i.  e.,  of  persons  in  covenant  church  relationship,  are  to  be  baptized  irrespective  of  the  moral  char- 
acter of  the  parents,  so  long  as  the  parents  are  not  excommunicate.  "  The  pinch  then  of  the 
Question  lyes  here.  Whether  persons  non  confederate,  and  so  (in  our  sense  not  Members  of  the 
Church)  do  entitle  their  children  to  the  seal  of  Baptisrae,  being  one  of  the  Priviledges  of  the 
Church,  their  Parents  (though  godly)  being  yet  unwilling  to  come  into  Church-fellowship."  This 
he  answers  in  the  negative,  for  "  Children  as  children  have  not  right  unto  Baptisme  ";  and  "  It  be- 
longs not  to  any  Predecessors,  either  neerer  or  further  off  removed  from  the  next  Parents,  xafl  auTo 
and  firstly,  to  give  right  of  this  priviledge  to  their  Children."  A  child  cannot  be  baptized  on  its 
grandparent's  church  membership.  Hooker  is  far  from  favoring  what  was  afterwards  to  be  known 
as  the  half-way  covenant  position. 

*  Survey,  Pt.  3,  pp.  33-46.  Hooker  holds  that  the  offence  must  first  be  laid  before  the  elders 
and  it  rests  with  them  to  decide  whether  it  is  of  sufficient  importance  to  lay  before  the  church.  If 
unimportant,  the  elders  may  dismiss  the  complaint,  though  the  complainant  may,  at  risk  of  personal 
censure  if  unsustained,  appeal  from  them  to  the  brethren.  But  if  weighty,  the  elders  are  to  exam- 
ine into  the  case,  recording  the  accusation  exactly  and  confining  the  disputants  to  the  points  at 
issue.  This  preliminary  sifting  of  evidence  is  to  be  made  by  the  elders  "because  the  body  of  the 
people,  if  numerous,  they  will  be  unable  with  any  comely  conveniency,  to  consider  and  weigh  all 
the  circumstances,  with  all  the  emerging  difficulties."  p.  36,  37.  But  the  elders  are  not  to  pass 
sentence  without  the  consent  of  the  brethren.  "  Thus  the  preparation  is  done,  the  cause  rightly 
stated  and  cleered,  doubts  answered,  mistakes  removed,  and  by  proofs  fair  and  sufficient,  the  truth 
confirmed  [all  this  by  the  elders]  ;  now  the  cause  is  ready  and  ripe  for  judgement,  and  may  easily 


146  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1645 

Whilst  the  Church  remains  a  true  Church  of  Christ,  it  doth 
not  loose  this  power,  nor  can  it  lawfully  be  taken  away/ 

Consociation  of  Churches  should  be  used,  as  occasion  doth 
require." 


be  determined  in  half  an  hour,  which  cost  many  weeks  [to  the  elders]  in  the  search  and  examina- 
tion thereof. 

The  Execution  of  the  sentence  issues  in  four  things. 

First,  the  cause  exactly  recorded,  is  as  /iiUy  and  nakedly  to  he.  presented  to  the  considera- 
tion of  the  Congregation. 

Secondly,  the  Elders  are  to  goe  before  the  Congregation  in  laying  open  the  rule^  so  far  as 
reacheth  any  particular  now  to  be  considered,  and  to  expresse  their  judgement  and  determina- 
tion thereof,  so  far  as  appertains  to  themselves. 

Thirdly,  unlesse  the  people  be  able  to  convince  them  of  errour  and  mistakes  in  their  sen- 
tence, they  are  bound  toj'oyn  tifeir  judgement  "with  theirs.,  to  the  complcating  oj' the  sentence. 

Fourthly,  the  sentence,  thus  compleatly  issued,  is  to  be  solemnly  passed  and  pronouticed 
upon  the  Delinquent  6y  the  ruling  Elder.,  whether  it  be  the  censure  of  admonition  or  excommu- 
nication,^^ p.  38.     It  will  be  seen  that  Hooker's  position  is  distinctly,  though  mildly,  Barrowist. 

1  Survey,  Pt.  3,  pp.  40-46.  Some  of  his  considerations  are  the  following  :  "  The  fraternity 
have  no  more  power  to  oppose  the  sentence  of  the  censure,  thus  prepared  and  propounded  by 
the  Elders,  then  they  have  to  oppose  their  doctrine  which  they  shall  publish.  But  they  have  as 
much  power  to  oppose  the  one  as  the  other.  .  .  .  Since  then  it  is  yeelded  on  all  hands,  that 
the  fraternity  may  renounce  and  condemn  the  false,  erronious  and  hereticall  Doctrines  of  aji 
Elder  .  .  .  and  take  away  his  Offi-ce  from  him  :  they  may  do  as  much  by  parity  of  reason 
against  his  false  and  unjust  censures  propounded  and  concluded,  and  so  interpose  and  oppose 
proceeding,  as  that  they  shall  never  take  place  and  be  established  in  the  Congregation  ,  .  .  The 
conclusion  then  is,  Th&  fraternity  put  for  th  a  [forth  a^causall  power  in  the  censure  of  excomu- 
nication,  whence  it  receives  its  compleat  being,  and  here  lyes  the  supream  Tribunal  in  poynt  of 
judgement.^''  pp.  41-43.  Hooker  holds  that  the  church  may  proceed  against  any  of  its  elders  as 
against  any  other  of  its  membership,  though  what  preliminary  steps  shall  be  taken  in  the  "prepara- 
tion" of  the  case  he  does  not  explain.  "In  case  the  Elders  offend,  and  are  complained  of,  to 
whom  must  the  complaint  be  carried?  the  text  saith.  To  the  Church  .  .  .  and  let  it  be  sup- 
posed that  where  there  be  three  Elders,  two  of  them  should  turn  Hereticks  and  continue  so  ;  how 
could  the  Church  proceed  against  them,  unlesse  there  was  a  causall  power  in  the  fraternity  to 
accomplish  this  censure  ?"  p.  44.  Perhaps  Hooker's  view  of  the  relation  of  the  church  to  its  offi- 
cers is  most  clearly  brought  out  in  a  comparison  which  he  draws  between  it  and  a  city  corporation  : 
"  The  power  of  judgement  and  power  of  office  are  apparently  distinct  and  different  one  frotn 
atiother:  The  Elders  '\n  poynt  of  rule  and  exercising  the  act  of  their  Office,  are  supream,  and 
above  the  Congregation  :  none  have  that  Office-authority,  nor  can  put  forth  the  acts  thereof  but 
themselves:  But  in/(y'«^  of  power  of  judgement  or  censure,  the  frateriiity  they  are  supreatn, 
and  above  any  member  or  Officer,  in  case  of  offence  or  delinquency  :  nor  need  any  man  strange  at 
this  distinction,  when  the  like  is  daily  obvious  in  paralel  examples  presented  before  our  eyes.  The 
Lord  Major  is  above  the  Court,  as  touching  the  wayes  and  works  of  his  Office,  none  hath  right, 
nor  can  put  forth  such  acts,  which  are  peculiar  to  his  place,  and  yet  the  Court  is  above  in  poynt  of 
censure,  and  can  answerably  proceed  to  punish  in  a  just  way,  according  to  the  just  desert  of  his 
sin.  Thus  the  Parliament  is  above  the  King,  the  Souldiers  and  Captains  above  their  Generall." 
Pt.  3,  p.  45. 

"^  The  whole  matter  of  Synods  and  Councils  is  discussed  in  part  4  of  the  Survey.  Unfortu- 
nately the  author  left  this  portion  of  his  work  in  a  fragmentary  condition,  but  his  meaning  is  clear. 
By  "consociation  of  churches,"  Hooker  did  not  signify  the  peculiar  institution  later  known  by  that 
name  in  Connecticut,  but  what  modern  Congregationalism  calls  advisory  councils.  His  views  are 
summed  up  in  the  following  statement :  "  The  truth  is,  A  particular  Cotigregation  is  the  highest 
Tribunall,  unto  which  the  greived  party  may  appeal  in  the  third  place ;  [omit  ;]  if  private 
Councell,  or  the  witnesse  of  two  have  seemed  to  proceed  too  much  sharpely  and  with  too  much 
rigour  against  him[;]  before  the  Tribunal  of  the  Church,  the  cause  may  easily  be  scanned  and 
sentence  executed  according  to  Christ.  If  difficulties  arise  in  the  proceeding,  the  Counsell  of 
other  Churches  should  be  sought  to  clear  the  truth  :  but  the  Power  of  Cetisure  rests  still  in  the 
Congregation  where  Christ  plcaed  [placed]  it."  Pt.  4,  p.  19. 


TEXT  OK   THE   PRINCIPLES  I47 

Such  consociations  and  Synods'  have  allowance  to  counsel! 
and  admonish  other  Churches,  as  the  case  may  require. 

And  if  they  grow  obstinate  in  errour  or  sinfull  miscarriages, 
they  should  renounce  the  right  hand  of  fellowship  with  them." 

But  they  have  no  power  to  excommunicate.^ 

Nor  do  their  constitutions  binde  formaliter  &  juridice.^ 


'  In  a  paper  of  Hooker's  composition,  found  in  his  study,  and  printed  as  an  appendi.x  to  the 
Survey^  a  Synod  is  thus  defined  :  "  A  Synod  is  an  Ecclesiasticall  meeting,  consisting  of  fit  persons, 
called  by  the  Churches,  and  sent  as  their  messengers,  to  discover  and  determine  of  doubtfull  cases, 
either  in  Doctrine  or  practise,  according  to  the  truth."  Pt.  4,  p.  45.  In  such  a  Synod  or  council, 
"all  have  equall  power,  because  .equally  sent  and  chosen,  which  are  the  substantiall  ingredients  to 
make  up  Synodicall  members."    Ibid.,  46. 

2  "The  renouncing  the  right  hand  0/ /ellawshi/>,  which  other  Churches  may  do,  and 
s\\Q\x\A  do  as  occa.s,\ori  rcqv.i'ces,\s  another  thing /roin  excotnmunication  .  .  .  any  Christian 
man  or  "woman  may,  upon  Just  grouttds,  reject  the  right  hand  of  felloivship  ixiiih  [w////] 
others,  whom  they  cannot  excommunicate.  In  a  word,  there  may  be  a  totall  separation,  w-here 
there  is  no  excommunication,  Because  excommunication  is  a  sentence  jtidici all,  presuppoung 
[presupposing]  ever  a  solemn  and  superior  power  over  the  party  sentenced  ;  but  no  such  thing  in 
separation,  or  rejection.'''  Pt.  4,  pp.  23,  24. 

^  That  there  should  be  Synods,  which  have  Potestatem  juridicain,  is  no  where  proved  in 
Scripture,  because  it  is  not  a  truth."    Appended  paper,  Survey,  Pt.  4,  pp.  48,  49. 

■*  "  lliey  \_Sy?iods  and  Councils'\  have  no  poiver  to  impose  their  Canons  or  Conclusions 
upon  thetn  [the  Churches'],  i.  Because  the  Churches  power  is  above  them,  in  that  they  sent 
them.  2.  Because  the  Churches  have  power  to  call  another  Synod,  and  send  other  Messengers,  and 
passe  sentence  against  them  [i.  e.,  decide  against  the  members  of  the  first  council].  3.  Because  in 
many  cases  it  may  injoyne  a  man  to  beleeve  contradictions.  As  suppose  a  man  under  one  Prov- 
ince, which  hath  determined  a  case  one  way,  and  therefore  he  must  beleeve  that  [provided  Synods 
can  "binde  formaliter"]:  He  removes  hiraselfe  the  next  month  or  week  into  another  Province, 
and  they  have  determined  a  contrary  Conclusion,  and  he  must  beleeve  that."  Ibid.,  54.  "  But  if 
Synods  and  such  meetings  be  attended  onely  in  way  of  consultation,  as  having  no  other  power,  nor 
meeting  for  any  other  end  ;  Then  as  they  are  lawfull,  so  the  root  of  them  lyes  in  a  common  prin- 
ciple which  God  in  providence  hath  appointed  for  humane  proceeding,  and  that  is.  He  that 
hearkens  to  counsell  shall  be  safe.  In  the  multitude  of  councellers  there  is  safety.  Hence  all  con- 
ditions and  callings,  as  they  need,  so  they  use  a  Combination  of  counsell,  for  the  carrying  on  of 
their  occasions  under  their  hand.  Hence  arise  the  Companies  of  Merchants,  and  all  men  of  all 
Crafts.  Hence  Common  Councels  in  all  Kingdomes  and  States.  And  therefore  in  the  Course  of 
Christianity  also  the  Churches  of  Christ  should  use  the  means,  which  God  hath  appointed  for 
their  more  confortable  and  succesfull  proceeding  in  a  Church-way.  And  hence  one  Church  may 
send  to  another,  or  to  many,  and  that  severally  or  joyntly  meeting."  Ibid.,  p.  61.  Hooker's  gen- 
eral theory  of  the  independence  and  communion  of  churches  is  perhaps  best  expressed  in  the  fol- 
lowing passage :  "  When  this  Church  is  said  to  be  Independent,  we  must  know- 
That  Indepe.n-  ]  I.  Either  an  absolute  Supremacy,  and  then  it  is  opposed  to  subordination. 
DENXV  implies  \  2.  Or  else  a  sufficiency  in  its  kind,  for  the  attainment  of  its  end,  and  so  its 
two  things ;        J  opposed  to  imperfection. 

Take  that  word  in  the  Jirst  sence,  so  a  particular  Church  or  Congregation  is  not  abso- 
lutely supreame :  For  its  subject  unto,  and  under  the  supreme  power  politicke  in  the  place 
where  it  is;  so  that  the  .Magistrate  hath  a  coactive power  to  compel  the  Church  to  execute  the 
ordinances  of  Christ,  according  to  the  order  and  rules  of  Christ,  given  to  her  in  that  behalfe  in  his 
holy  Word  ;  and  in  case  she  swerves  from  her  rule,  by  a  strong  hand  to  constraine  her  to  keepe  it. 
Hee  is  a  nursing  Father  thus  to  the  Church,  to  make  her  attend  that  wholesome  dyet  which  is 
provided  and  set  out,  as  her  share  and  portion  in  the  Scripture.  Nay,  should  the  supream  Magis- 
trate unjustly  oppresse  or  persecute,  she  must  be  subject,  and  meekly  according  to  justice,  beare 
that  which  is  unjustly  inflicted.  Againe,  she  is  so  farre  subject  to  the  consociation  of  Churches, 
that  she  is  bound,  in  case  of  doubt  and  difficulty,  to  crave  their  counsell,  and  if  it  be  according  to 
God,  to  follow  it ;  and  if  she  shall  erre  from  the  rule,  and  continue  obstinate  therein,  they  have 
authority  to  renounce  the  right  hand  of  fellowship  with  her.  In  the  second  sence,  the  Church 
may  be  said  to  be  Independent,  namely  sufficient  to  attaine  her  end :  and  therefore  hath  com- 


148  hooker's   CONGREGATIONALISM,    1645 

In  all  these  I  have  leave  to  prof  esse  the  joint  judgement  of  all  the 
Elders  upon  the  river : '  Of  New-haven,'  Guilford,^  Milford,*  Strat- 
ford,* Fairfield^:  and  of  most  of  the  Elders  of  the  Churches  in  the 
Bay,'  to  whom  I  did  send  in  particular^  and  did  receive  approbation 
from  them^  under  their  hands  :  Of  the  rest  {to  ivhom  I  could  not  se/id) 
I  cannot  so  affirm  ;  but  this  I  can  say,  That  at  a  common  meeting,*  / 
was  desired  by  them  all,  to  publish  what  now  I  do. 


pleat  power,  being  rightly  constituted,  to  exercise  all  the  ordinances  of  God.  As  all  Arts  are  thus 
coinpleat  in  their  kinde,  and  have  a  compleat  sufficiency  in  themselves  to  attaine  their  owne  end  ; 
and  yet  are  truely  said  to  be  subordinate  each  to  the  other  in  their  workes.  The  Word,  then,  in  its 
faire  and  inoffensive  sence,  imports  thus  muck.  Every  particular  Congregation,  rightly  consti- 
tuted and  cample ated,  hath  sufficiency  in  it  sel/e,  to  exercise  all  the  ordinances  of  Christ." 
Pt.  2,  pp.  79,  80. 

'  I.  e.,  on  the  Connecticut.  These  churches  were  Hartford,  under  Hooker  and  Samuel  Stone  ; 
Windsor,  under  John  W'arham ;  Wethersfield,  under  Henry  Smith ;  Springfield,  Mass.,  under 
George  Mo.xon  ;  and  Old  Saybrook,  under  James  Fitch. 

2  Under  John  Davenport  and  William  Hooke. 

3  Under  Henry  Whitfield  and  John  Higginson,  the  latter  later  of  Salem. 
^  Under  Peter  Prudden. 

^  Under  Adam  Blakeman. 

^  Under  John  Jones. 

'  I.  e.,  of  Massachusetts  Colony. 

*  At  Cambridge,  July  i,  1645  ;  see  ante,  p.  141. 


IX 
THE   WINDSOR   CREED-COVENANT,   1647 

The  extant  contemporary  record  of  this  document  is  contained  in  a  note-book 
of  Deacon  Matthew  Grant  of  Windsor,  now  in  the  possession  of  Ur.  J.  H.  Trum- 
bull of  Hartford.  It  has  been  printed  in  the  Cougrcgatioiial  Quarto-ly,  Vol.  IV, 
pp.  168,  169  (April,  1862). 

THE  members  of  the  church  which  ultimately  found  its  resting 
place  at  Windsor,  Connecticut,  were  originally  part  of  a 
company  organized  in  the  west-of-England  counties  of  Devon, 
Dorset,  and  Somerset,  in  1629  and  1630.'  This  was  a  region  where 
the  influence  of  Rev.  John  White,  the  distinguished  Puritan  of 
Dorchester,  had  long  been  felt;  and  he  was  doubtless  largely  in- 
strumental in  bringing  together  the  adventurers  in  the  enter- 
prise. The  personal  following  of  Rev.  John  Warham,  a  Puritan 
minister  of  the  Established  Church  at  Exeter,  formed  a  considera- 
ble portion  of  the  body.^  Their  church  organization  was  effected, 
unlike  that  of  any  other  of  the  Puritan  churches  of  Nev/  England, 
before  leaving  English  shores,  at  Plymouth,  where  the  company 
had  gathered   preparatory   to   sailing;'    and  there   John  Warham 


•  Our  informant  regarding  the  early  history  of  this  company  is  Capt.  Roger  Clap,  one  of  its 
original  members,  whose  Memoirs,  written  after  1676,  in  his  old  age,  for  the  instruction  of  his 
children,  were  first  printed  at  Boston  in  1731.  They  have  since  been  a  number  of  times  repub- 
lished ;  in  1844  by  the  Dorchester,  Mass.,  Antiquarian  and  Historical  Society,  at  Boston.  The  more 
essential  portions  are  given  by  Young,  Chron.     .     .     .     Mass.,  pp.  344-367. 

The  general  history  of  the  company  and  the  church,  both  in  their  early  experiences  and  later 
story,  may  be  found  in  the  Dorchester  Ant.  and  Hist.  Society's  Hist.  0/  the  Toivn  oy  Dorchester, 
Boston,  1859 ;  Stiles'  Hist,  of  A  ncient  Windsor,  New  York,  1859  (a  new  edition  is  just  out) ; 
and  Messrs.  Tuttle,  Wilson,  and  Hayden's  contributions  to  the  history  of  Windsor  in  Trumbull's 
Memorial  History  0/  Hartford  County,  Boston,  1886,  II:  497-560.  The  250th  Anniversary  of 
the  church  in  1880  was  commemorated  by  a  sketch  of  the  church's  history  by  its  late  pastor.  Rev. 
G.  C.  Wilson,  Record  of  the  Services  held  at  the  Cong.  Ch.  of  Wijidsor,  Conn.,  in  celebration  of 
its  250th  Anniv.  Mch.30,  iSSo,  [Hartford]  1880,  pp.  8-35. 

^  Roger  CXSi^^s  Memoirs,  pp.  i8,  ig.     Young,  Chron.     .     .     .     Mass.,  p.  346. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  39 :  "  These  godly  People  resolved  to  live  together  ;  and  therefore  as  they  had 
made  choice  of  those  two  Revd.  Servants  of  God,  Mr.  John  IVarham  and  Mr.  fohn  Maz<erick  to 
be  their  Ministers,  so  they  kept  a  solemn  Day  of  Fasting-  in  the  A'ew  Hospital  in  Plymouth,  in 
England,  spending  it  in  Preaching  and  Praying  :  where  that  worthy  ISIan  of  God,  IMr.  John 
White  of  Dorchester,  in  Dorset,  was  present,  and  Preached  unto  us  the  Word  of  God  in  the  fore- 
part of  the  Day ;  and  in  the  latter  part  of  the  Day,  as  the  People  did  solemnly  make  Choice  of, 

(149) 


ISO  THE   WINDSOR   CREED-COVENANT,    1 647 

was  chosen  and  installed  as  pastor,  and  John  Maverick  as  teacher/ 
After  a  voyage  lasting  from  March  20  to  May  30,  1630,  the  com- 
pany landed  at  Nantasket,  and  within  a  few  days  after  their  ar- 
rival took  up  their  abode  at  Mattapan,  soon  to  be  known  as  Dor- 
chester, in  memory  of  the  home  of  their  friend  and  promoter,  Rev. 
John  White. 

The  coming  of  the  Dorchester  company  was  followed  in  a 
few  days  by  the  arrival  in  Massachusetts  Bay  of  the  emigrants 
who  accompanied  Winthrop,  and  the  settlements  thus  begun  were 
rapidly  multiplied  by  fresh  Puritan  arrivals  during  the  years  fol- 
lowing 1630.  One  of  the  chiefest  of  these  later  companies  was 
that  which  settled  at  Mt.  Wollaston  and  then  at  Newtown  (the 
later  Cambridge,  Mass.).  This  company,  like  that  of  Dorchester, 
had  a  distinct  unity  and  character.  Its  church  enjoyed,  from  1633 
onward,  the  ministrations   of  Thomas  Hooker  and  Samuel  Stone  ; 


and  call  these  godly  Ministers  to  be  their  Officers,  so  also  the  Revd.  Mr.  U'arkaiii  and  Mr.  Mav- 
erick did  accept  thereof,  and  expressed  the  same."  When  Dr.  Samuel  Fuller  of  Plymouth,  Mass., 
met  Warham  soon  after  his  landing  on  these  shores,  he  found  Warham's  views  as  to  the  composition 
of  a  church  not  quite  so  strenuous  as  those  of  the  majority  of  Puritans  who  came  to  New  England : 
"  Mr.  Warham  holds  that  the  invisible  [visible]  church  may  consist  of  a  mixed  people,  godly  and 
openly  ungodly."  Bradford's  Letter-book,  /  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  III :  74.  But  the  practice  of  the 
church  cannot  have  much  differed  from  that  of  other  New  England  churches,  for  it  was  not  till  after 
the  settlers  had  arrived  at  Dorchester  that  Roger  Clap,  though  a  member  of  the  company  before 
leaving  England,  was  admitted  to  the  church  :  "  After  God  had  brought  me  into  this  Country,  He 
was  pleased  to  give  me  Room  in  the  Hearts  of  his  Servants,  so  that  I  was  admitted  into  the  Church 
Fellowship  at  the  first  beginning  in  Dorchester,  in  the  year  1630."  Memoirs,  p.  24. 

^  John  Warham,  for  one  so  prominently  associated  with  the  early  history  of  a  company  of 
settlers  of  mark  in  Massachusetts  and  Connecticut,  is  very  little  known.  The  fact  that  he  lived  till 
1670  shows  that  he  must  have  been  comparatively  young  when  he  came  to  America.  Before  leav- 
ing England  he  had  been  a  successful  minister  of  the  Establishment  at  Exeter.  Mather,  in  one  of 
his  most  padded  biographies,  records  his  supposition  that  Warham  was  "  the  first  preacher  that 
ever  thus  preached  with  notes  in  our  New-England":  but  the  passage  is  so  obscure  that 
the  writer  feels  by  no  means  clear  whether  Mather  meant  that  Warham  was  the  first  to  preach 
from  notes,  or  as  Judge  Davis  interpreted  it,  the  first  to  preach  from  notes  in  a  free  and  natural 
manner  (Davis'  ed.  Morton's  Memorial,  Boston,  1S26,  p.  482)  ;  Mat'ner  also  declares  that  he  was. 
so  subject  to  melancholy  as  to  deny  himself  the  Lord's  Supper  when  offering  it  to  others.  He 
attended  at  least  one  of  the  sessions  of  the  Cambridge  Synod  of  1646-48  ;  and  was  sent  to  the  meet- 
ing of  1657  at  Boston,  by  the  Connecticut  General  Assembly.  He  died  April  i,  1670.  See  Mather, 
JMagnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  I  :  44i.  44^;  Young,  Ckron.  .  .  .  Mass.,  pp.347,  348  (where  a  few  fur- 
ther references  may  be  found);  Allen,  Am.  Bio£:  Diet.,  3d  ed.,  p.  820;  Sprague,  Annals  Am. 
Pulpit,  I  :  10,  II  ;   Wilson,  in  Memorial  Hist.  Hartford  County,  Boston,  1886,  II :  534-538. 

John  Maverick  is  even  less  known  than  Warham.  Roger  Clap,  in  his  Memoirs,  speaks  of 
him  as  "Mr.  Maverick,  who  lived  forty  miles  off"  [i.e.,  from  Exeter,  England],  Young,  Chron. 
.  .  .  Mass.,  p.  347  ;  and  Winthrop  in  recording  his  death  under  date  of  Feb.  3,  1636,  speaks  of 
him  as  "being  near  sixty  years  of  age."  Savage's  ed.,  1 :  216.  He  must  therefore  have  been  con- 
siderably older  than  Warham.  Winthrop  fixes  his  office  as  that  of  "teacher  of  the  church  of  Dor- 
chester," and  speaks  of  him  as  "a  man  of  a  very  humble  spirit,  and  faithful  in  furthering  the  work 
of  the  Lord  here,  both  in  the  churches  and  civil  state."  Ibid.  His  death  prevented  his  emigration 
to  Conn.  The  facts  regarding  Maverick  may  be  found  in  W\  H.  Sumner's  IHsi.  0/ East  Boston, 
Boston,  1858,  pp.  57-68. 


SETTLEMENT   OF   CONNECTICUT  151 

and  its  chief  layman,  John  Haynes,  was  of  sufficient  honor  to  be 
chosen  governor  of  the  Massachusetts  Colony  in  1635.  It  need 
be  no  matter  of  surprise  therefore  that,  united  as  were  all  the 
Puritan  settlements  about  the  Bay  in  the  main  purpose  of  their 
enterprise,  a  certain  degree  of  restlessness  should  be  felt  on  ac- 
count of  the  close  proximity  in  location  of  different  companies, 
each  possessing  a  distinct  individuality  and  each  l^elieving  its 
ministers  and  prominent  laymen  to  be  the  superiors  of  any  in  the 
ColcMTy.  In  the  case  of  the  Newtown  company,  at  least,  there  is 
much  reason  to  believe  that  the  views  of  Hooker  led  to  a  more 
democratic  conception  of  the  true  character  of  civil  government, 
and  an  unwillingness  to  limit  the  franchise  to  church-members, 
which  put  the  company  in  a  measure  out  of  sympathy  with  most  of 
its  fellows  in  Massachusetts.  Whether  their  divergences  were 
publicly  expressed  or  not,  unrest  existed.'  By  May,  1634,  the 
Newtown  (Cambridge)  people  were  complaining  to  the  General 
Court  of  insufficiency  of  land,  and  during  the  following  months 
were  sending  spies  to  examine  into  the  character  of  the  soil  along 
the  Connecticut.'^  In  September  of  that  year  the  people  of  New- 
town were  before  the  General  Court  once  more,  this  time  with  a 
formal  demand  to  be  allowed  to  go  to  Connecticut.^  The  matter 
was  compromised  at  the  time,  and  the  proposed  emigration  de- 
layed ;  but  adventurous  spirits  were  already  finding  their  way  to 
the  river,''  and  by  1635  the  outflow  of  permanent  settlers  from 
Massachusetts  to  Connecticut  was  large.  In  the  autumn  of  that 
year  many  of  the  people  of  Dorchester  journeyed  across  the  wilder- 


'  Compare  G.  L.  Walker,  Hist.  First  Ch.  in  Hartford^  pp.  73-83  ;  Thomas  Hooker,  pp. 
82-90  ;  1.  N.  Tarbo.x  in  Memorial  Hist.  Hart/ord  County,  I  :  19-28  ;  Palfrey,  Hist.  0/ New  Eng- 
land, I  :  446. 

2  Winthrop,  Savage's  ed.,  1S53,  I  :  157,  162  ;  Records  of     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  I  :  119. 

'  Winthrop,  I:  166-.170.  Winthrop  notes  "the  main  business,  which  spent  the  most  time, 
and  caused  the  adjourning  of  the  court  [to  Sept.  25],  was  about  the  removal  of  Xewtown."  It 
did  not  get  into  the  Colonial  Records,  probably  because  compromised  for  the  time-being.  "  This 
matter  was  debated  divers  days,  and  many  reasons  alleged  pro  and  con.  The  principal  reasons  for 
their  removal  were  :  t.  Their  want  of  accommodation  for  their  cattle  ...  2.  The  fruitfulness 
and  commodiousness  of  Connecticut,  and  the  danger  of  having  it  possessed  by  others,  Dutch  or 
English.  3.  The  strong  bent  of  their  spirits  to  remove  thither."  Doubtless  the  last-mentioned 
was  the  most  important. 

*  The  beginnings  of  settlement  from  Watertown  in  what  is  now  Wethersfield  were  made  in 
1634.  S.  \V.  Adams,  in  Memorial  Hist.  Hart/ord  County,  II  :  435,  436.  Andrews,  River  Tozuns 
c/ Connecticut,  Johns  Hopkins  Hist.  Studies,  Ser.  VII:  7-g,  pp.  13-17. 


152  THE   WINDSOR   CREED-COVENANT,    1647 

ness  and  settled  in  what  is  now  Windsor,  Conn.;  and  with  them 
came,  it  would  appear,  some  of  Hooker  and  Stone's  congregation 
from  Newtown  to  join  those  straggling  settlers  who  had  begun, 
during  the  summer  of  1635,  to  break  the  soil  of  the  later  Hart- 
ford/ The  prior  claims  of  the  Dutch  and  of  Plymouth  Colony 
were  practically  disregarded,^  the  new  settlers,  though  still  viewed 
as  under  the  jurisdiction  of  Massachusetts,^  felt  that  they  were 
building  for  themselves  and  their  kindred.  But  the  year  1636  was 
the  time  of  greatest  exodus.  With  the  opening  spring  Hooker 
and  Stone,  with  the  major  portion  of  the  Newtown  church,  made 
their  way  to  Hartford,"  while  not  far  from  the  same  time,  perhaps 
a  little  earlier  than  those  of  Newtown,  many  of  the  Dorchester 
colonists,"  and  with  them  probably  their  pastor,  John  Warham,'' 
joined  those  of  their  number  who  had  wintered  on  the  Windsor 
soil.  It  would  be  clearly  too  much  to  affirm,  as  some  have  done, 
that  there  was  here   the  emigration  of  three  organized  towns  to 


■  Winthrop,  1 :  204,  under  date  of  Oct.  15.  For  the  return  of  some  see  Ibid.,  p.  207  (Nov.  26), 
and  208,  209  (Dec.  10).  Winthrop  does  not  expressly  describe  this  company  as  from  Dorchester, 
hence  some  have  held  it  to  be  from  Newtown.  It  was  probably  from  both,  but  largely  from  the 
former,  since  under  date  of  April  i,  1636,  Winthrop  records  that  a  great  part  of  the  church  at  Dor- 
chester had  already  gone  to  Connecticut,  and  that  those  who  had  taken  their  cattle  before  winter 
had  lost  nearly  the  value  of  ;^2,ooo,  p.  219.  These  in  all  probability  are  the  "  cows,  horses,  and 
swine,"  to  which  he  refers  under  date  of  Oct.  15.  See  Tarbox,  in  Memorial  Hist.  Hart/ord 
County^  I  :  34,  35.     Andrews,  Ri^'er  Toiuns.,  ig-23. 

2  The  Dutch  captain,  Adriaen  Block,  had  sailed  up  the  Connecticut  as  far  as  Windsor  in 
1614.  A  doubtful  tradition  had  it  that  the  Dutch  had  begun  a  fort  at  Hartford  as  early  as  1623. 
They  certainly  purchased  land  of  the  Indians  June  8,  1633,  and  completed  their  fort.  In  the  same 
year,  1633,  the  people  of  Plymouth  erected  a  trading  post  in  Windsor.  See  Savage's  Winthrop, 
I  ;  134,  135;  Bradford,  Hist.  Plym.  Plant.,  311-314;  O'Callaghan,  Hist,  of  New  Netherlands 
2d  ed..  New  York,  1855,  I  :  150-155  ;  Brodhead,  Hist.  0/  State  0/ New  York.,  1853,  1 :  56,  234,  235  ; 
Tarbox,  in  Memorial  Hist.  Hart/ord  County.,  I  :  15-18. 

3  The  Mass.  General  Court,  at  its  session  of  INIarch  3,  1636,  issued  a  commission  in  which  it 
rehearsed  the  facts  that  "dyv  [divers]  of  o'  loveing  ffriends,  neighb",  ffreemen  &  members  of  Newe 
Towne,  DorchesfjWaterton,  &  other  places,  whoe  are  resolved  to  transplant  themselues  &  their  estates 
vnto  the  Ryver  of  Conecticott,  there  to  reside  &  inhabite,  &  to  that  end  dyv"  are  there  already,  & 
dyv"  others  shortly  to  goe"'  and  appointed  a  commission  of  eight  to  govern  the  settlements  on  the 
river  for  a  year  from  date.  Records  .  .  .  Mass.  Bay.,  I  :  170,  171.  As  these  eight  commis- 
sioners were  all  settlers  upon  the  river,  their  rule  naturally  passed  without  friction  into  self-govern- 
ment on  or  before  the  expiration  of  the  allotted  year,  it  having  become  evident  that  however  it 
might  be  with  Springfield  (to  which  colony  of  1636  two  of  the  commissioners  belonged)  the  three 
lower  settlements  were  outside  of  Massachusetts  jurisdiction. 

*  Winthrop,  I  :  223,  under  date  of  May  31,  1636,  records  :  "  Mr.  Hooker,  pastor  of  the  church 
of  Newtown,  and  the  most  of  his  congregation,  went  to  Connecticut.  His  wife  was  carried  in  a 
horse  litter  ;  and  they  drove  one  hundred  and  sixty  cattle,  and  fed  of  their  milk  by  the  way." 

5  See  above,  note  i. 

'^  Whether  Warham  came  to  Connecticut  in  the  autumn  of  1635  or  the  spring  of  1636  is  a 
disputed  point ;  the  probabilities  seem  to  favor  the  latter  supposition.  See  Andrews,  River  Towns, 
21,  22.  Maverick  would  doubtless  have  joined  in  the  emigration  had  he  not  been  prevented  by 
death,  Feb.  3,  1636.      Winthrop,  I  :  216. 


CHARACTER   OF   THE   SETTLEMENT  I  53 

Connecticut;'  but  in  the  case  of  two  of  the  three  companies,  Wind- 
sor and  Hartford,  there  was  a  transfer  of  church  organization, 
so  that  new  ecclesiastical  institutions  had  to  be  established  on 
the  soil  which  they  had  left.^  The  present  first  churches  of  Wind- 
sor and  Hartford  are  no  product  of  Connecticut  soil,  the  one 
traces  its  continuous  existence  back  to  the  shores  of  Massachu- 
setts Bay,  the  other  beyond  the  ocean  to  the  New  Hospital  at 
Plymouth. 

The  colony  thus  established  showed  itself  from  the  first  self- 
reliant  and  creative.  Though  closely  allied  to  Massachusetts,  its 
civil  and  ecclesiastical  development  has  always  had  a  distinct 
character.^  And  though  by  reason  of  numbers,  wealth,  and  the 
ability  of  its  inhabitants,  Hartford  became  the  leader  of  the 
three  original  river  towns,  Windsor  has  shared  in  all  that  is  pecu- 
liar in  Connecticut  story. 

It  was  eleven  years  after  the  full  establishment  of  the  Windsor 
church  in  its  Connecticut  domicile  that  the  Creed-Covenant  now 
under  consideration  was  adopted.  Of  the  immediate  circumstan- 
ces we  know  nothing,  and  we  are  ignorant  also  as  to  the  possession 
by  the  church  of  any  statement  of  belief  previous  to  this  time. 
Had  any  been  in  use  (a  matter  more  than  doubtful),  it  has  com- 
pletely disappeared.  The  Creed-Covenant  of  Oct.  23,  1647,  is 
the  oldest  symbol  of  the  Windsor  church  which  exists;  not  only 
so,  it  is  the  oldest  symbol  at  all  answering  to  what  modern  usage 


'  The  view  that  the  settlers  of  Connecticut  came  into  the  land  as  "three  distinct  and  indi- 
vidual town  organizations"  was  advocated  by  the  late  Prof.  Alexander  Johnston  in  his  Genesis  of 
a  New  Englajtd  State,  Johtis  Hopkins  Stzidies,  I  Series,  ii  (Sept.,  1883);  and  his  Connecticut, 
American  Commonwealths  Series,  Boston,  1887,  pp.  11,  12.  It  has,  however,  been  successfully 
challenged  by  Hon.  Mellen  Chamberlain  in  his  Remarks  on  the  New  Historical  School,  Proc. 
Mass,  Hist.  Soc,  Jan.,  1890  ;  and  Dr.  Charles  M.  Andrews  in  his  Origin  0/ Connecticut  Towns, 
A/tnals  Am.  Acad.  Political  and  Social  Science,  Oct.,  iSgo. 

2  The  learned  introduction  to  the  Records  of  the  First  Ch.  at  Dorchester,  Boston,  iSgi, 
shows  that  only  a  part  of  the  Dorchester  members  went  to  Windsor,  and  holds  that  "  whether  the 
Windsor  party  went  as  a  church  organization  or  simply  as  a  colony  of  fellow  church  members  is 
not  known."  But  it  does  not  set  aside  the  fact  that  a  reorganization  of  the  Dorchester  church  had 
to  take  place  after  the  Windsor  emigration.  The  Newtown  emigrants  certainly  went  to  Hartford 
as  an  organization,  and  it  would  need  considerable  evidence  in  rebuttal  to  show  that  the  Windsor 
settlers  did  not  also.     The  presumption  is  certainly  that  they  did. 

3  As  illustrations  of  some  of  these  peculiarities  I  may  cite  the  fact  that  Connecticut  (as  dis- 
tinct from  Massachusetts  and  New  Haven),  never  made  church-membership  a  condition  of  voting 
citizenship  ;  the  Consociational  system  of  Connecticut  church  government  never  found  a  home  in 
Massachusetts ;  on  the  other  hand,  Connecticut  has  never  welcomed  Massachusetts  Unitarianism. 

II 


154  I'l^E   WINDSOR   CREED-COVENANT,    1647 

calls  a  "confession  of  faith,"  to  be  found  in  Connecticut  ;  and  one 
of  the  earliest  church  creeds  of  New  England.  But  while  we  do 
not  know  the  exact  circumstances  of  its  adoption,  we  have  vari- 
ous hints  which  enable  us  to  form  a  conjecture  as  to  what  was 
passing  in  the  pastor's  mind.  The  growing  Presbyterianism  of 
England  and  the  need  of  some  recognized  standards  of  doctrine 
and  polit}'  at  home  had  led  to  the  calling  of  the  celebrated  Cam- 
bridge Synod  in  1646, —  the  body  which  was  to  put  forth,  in  1648, 
the  Cambridge  Platform.'  Two  sessions  of  that  assembly  had  al- 
ready been  held,  in  Sept.,  1646,  and  in  June,  1647  ;  and  Mr.  War- 
ham  had  been  present  at  the  latter.'^  On  his  return  he  had 
preached,  August  15,  a  sermon  based  in  large  part  on  Hooker's 
then  unpublished  S/trvej,^  in  which  he  had  entered  at  length  into 
discussion  of  the  constitution  of  a  true  church.  It  is  plain,  there- 
fore, that  questions  of  doctrine  and  polity  were  uppermost  in  the 
Windsor  pastor's  mind  during  the  summer  and  autumn  months  of 
1647,  and  this  Creed-Covenant  was  the  natural  outcome. 

The  Creed-Covenant  is  of  course  Calvinistic  in  point  of  view, 
but  its  non-polemic  tone  is  noticeable.  Of  the  distinctive  doc- 
trines of  Calvinism  only  that  of  the  perseverence  of  the  saints  is 
made  at  all  conspicuous.  It  is  distinctly  Congregational  in  its 
assertion  of  the  necessity  of  the  local  organization  by  covenant  ; 
while  its  concluding  section  is  the  covenant  proper,  by  which 
the  believers  at  Windsor  promised  to  walk  in  fellowship  with  one 
another.  Probably  Warham  would  have  been  far  from  claiming 
that  this  creed  covered  the  range  of  Christian  doctrine.  But  it 
certainly  contains,  in  simple  phrase,  the  essentials  of  the  Gospel, 
redemption  from  sin  through  repentance  and  faith  in  the  atoning 
work  of  Christ,  and  a  life  of  love  toward  God  and  our  neighbor 
through  the  strength  which  comes  from  Him. 

THE    WINDSOR    CREED-COVENANT,    1 647. 

I.  We  believe  though  God  made  man  in  an  holy  and  blessed 
condition,  yet  by  his  fall  he  hath  plunged  himself  and  all  his  pos- 
terity into  a  miserable  state.- — -Rom.  iii:   23;  v:   12. 


1  See  following  chapter. 

2  See  note  by  Dr.  Trumbull,  Co>i£:  Quarterly,  IV:  i68  (April,  1862). 

3  Ibid. 


TEXT   OF   THE   CREED-COVENANT  I  55 

2.  Yet  God  hath  provided  a  sufficient  remedy  in  Christ  for 
all  broken  hearted  sinners  that  are  loosened  from  their  sins  and 
selves  and  world,  and  are  enabled  by  faith  to  look  to  Him  in  Christ, 
for  mercy,  inasmuch  as  Christ  hath  done  and  suffered  for  such 
whatever  His  justice  requires  to  atonement  and  life;  and  He  doth 
accept  His  merits  and  ri^^'-hteousness  for  them  that  believe  in  Him, 
and  imputeth  it  to  them  to  their  justification,  as  if  they  had  satis- 
fied and  obeyed,  themselves. —  Heb.  vii:  25;  Mat.  xi:  28;  xxii:  24; 
v:   4,  6;    I  Cor.  i:   30;   Rom.  iv:   3,  5;  v:    19. 

3.  Yet  we  believe  that  there  is  no  other  name  or  means  to 
be  saved  from  guilt  and  the  power  of  sin.  —  John  xiv:  6;  Acts  iv:  12. 

4.  We  believe  God  hath  made  an  everlasting  covenant  in 
Christ  with  all  penitent  sinners  that  rest  on  him  in  Christ,  never  to 
reject,  or  cease  to  do  them  good.  —  Heb.  viii:  6;  vii:  22;  i  Sam. 
xii:    22;   Jere.  xxxii:   40. 

5.  We  believe  this  covenant  to  be  reciprocal,  obliging  us  to 
be  his  people,  to  love,  fear,  obey,  cleave  to  him,  and  serve  him 
with  all  our  heart,  mind,  and  soul;  as  him  to  be  our  God,  to  love, 
choose,  delight  in  us,  and  save  and  bless  us  in  Christ:  yea,  as  his 
covenant  binds  us  to  love  him  and  his  Christ  for  his  own  sake,  so 
to  love  our  brethren  for  his  sake. —  Deut.  x:  12;  Hos.  iii:  3;  ii: 
21;   Deut.  xxvi:   17-19;  John  iv:   21. 

6.  We  believe  that  God's  people,  besides  their  general  cove- 
nant with  God,  to  walk  in  subjection  to  him,  and  Christian  love  to 
all  his  people,  ought  also  to  join  themselves  into  a  church  covenant 
one  with  another,  and  to  enter  into  a  particular  combination  to- 
gether with  some  of  his  people  to  erect  a  particular  ecclesiastical 
body,  and  kingdom,  and  visible  family  and  household  of  God,  for 
the  managing  of  discipline  and  public  ordinances  of  Christ  in  one 
place  in  a  dutiful  way,  there  to  worship  God  and  Christ,  as  his 
visible  kingdom  and  subjects,  in  that  place  waiting  on  him  for  that 
blessing  of  his  ordinances  and  promises  of  his  covenant,  by  hold- 
ing communion  with  him  and  his  people,  in  the  doctrine  and  dis- 
cipline of  that  visible  kingdom,  where  it  may  be  attained. —  Rom. 
xii:  4,5,6;  I  Cor.  xii:  27,28;  Ephes.  iv:  11,  12;  Acts  ii:  47;  Exod. 
xii:  43,  44,  45;  Gen.  xvii:   13;  Isa.  xxiii:  4. 

7.  We  for  ourselves,  in  the  sense  of  our  misery  by  the  fall 
and  utter  helplessness  elsewhere,  desire  to  renounce  all  other  sav- 
iours but  his  Christ,  and  to  rest  on  (iod  in  him  alone,  for  all  happi- 
ness, and  salvation  from  all  misery;  and  do  here  bind  ourselves,  in 
the  presence  of  men  and  angels,  by  his  grace  assisting  us,  to  choose 


156  THE   WINDSOR   CREED-COVENANT,    1 647 

the  Lord,  to  serve  him,  and  to  walk  in  all  his  ways,  and  to  keep  all 
his  commandments  and  ordinances,  and  his  Christ  to  be  our  king, 
priest  and  prophet,  and  to  receive  his  gospel  alone  for  the  rule  of 
our  faith  and  manners,  and  to  [be]  subject  to  the  whole  will  of 
Christ  so  far  as  we  shall  understand  it;  and  bind  ourselves  in  spe- 
cial to  all  the  members  of  this  body,  to  walk  in  reverend  subjection 
in  the  Lord  to  all  our  superiours,  and  in  love,  humility,  wisdom, 
peaceableness,  meekness,  inoffensiveness,  mercy,  charity,  spiritual 
helpfulness,  watchfulness,  chastity,  justice,  truth,  self-denial,  one 
to  another,  and  to  further  the  spiritual  good  one  of  another,  by 
example,  counsel,  admonition,  comfort,  oversight,  according  to 
God,  and  submit  or[selves]  subject  unto  all  church  administration 

in  the  Lord. 

Finis. 


X 

THE  CAMBRIDGE  SYNOD  AND  PLATFORM, 
I 646- I 648 
Text  and  Reprints 

a.     the   tentative   conclusions    respecting   the    power    of    magistrates 
and  the  nature  of  synods,   1646 

I.  The  Result  \  of  a  \  Synod  \  at  \  Catnbridge  \  i)i  \  A' eiv- England ^  \  Anno. 
1646.  I  Concerning  \   The  Power  of  Magistrates  in  mat-  \  trrs  of  the  First  Table. 

I  Nattire  ^  Power  of  Synods  ;  \  and  other  matters  thercttn-  \  to  belonging.  \  Lon- 
don I  Printed  by  M.  S,  for  John  Allen  \  and  Francis  Eglesfield  in  Pauls  \  Church- 
yard.    i6j4.     16°  pp.  ii,  76. 

II.  A  second  edition  was  issued  at  London  in  1655. 

B.       THE   CAMBRIDGE    PLATFORM,    164S 

The  manuscript  is  in  the  possession  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society,  Wor- 
cester, Mass. 

I.  A  Platform  of  Church  Discipline  .  .  .  Printed  by  S[awucl1  G[rccn] 
at  Cambridge  in  AVtc  England     .      .     .      id^g.^     4°  pp.  x,  32. 

II.  A  Platform  of  Church  Discipline  \&tc.\  London,  1653?  (Suppressed  as 
incorrect  by  Edward  Winslow.)" 

III.  A  Platform  of  Church  Discipline  [etc.]  Printed  in  N^ew-England ; 
and  Reprinted  in  London  [etc.]  /^Jj.  (With  two  pages  of  preface  by  Edward  Wins- 
low.)     4°  pp.  vi,  viii,  30. 

IV.  A  Platform  [etc.]  Cambridge :  Printed  by  Mar maduke  Johnson,  idyr. 
4°  pp.  xii,  34. 

V.  At  Boston  in  i6So,  with  the  first  edition  of  the  Confession  of  that  year. 

VI.  At  Boston  in  1699  in  EngHsh  and  Indian,  with  the  Confession  of  1680.^ 

VII.  At  Boston  1 701.  With  an  appendix  of  five  pages  on  Congregational 
practices  and  principles.'*     8°  pp.  xxv,  64,  6.     Reprinted  for  Boston  First  Church. 

VIII.  In  Mather,  Magnalia,  London,  1702.  Ed.  Hartford,  1853-5,  II; 
211-236. 

IX.  In  Indian,  1704.'* 

X.  At  New  York,  1711.     A  reprint  of  the  Boston  edition  of  1701.* 

XI.  1713.     Boston?'' 

XII.  Boston,  1 71 7,  8°  pp.  .xvi,  40.* 


'  Full  title  in  connection  with  the  reprint  of  the  text  of  the  Platform,  at  the  close  of  this 
chapter. 

''Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  Bibliography  No.  1631. 

'  Catalogue  of  Coll.  of  Mr.  Brayton  Ives,  New  York,  1891,  No.  145. 

*  Brinley  Sale  Catalogue,  Hartford  1878,  Nos.  737,  5878.  *  Dexter,  //>id.,  No.  1507. 

"  Brinley  Cat.,  3382.  '  Dexter,  /ii'd.,  No.  1635.  *  Brinley  Cat.,  5879. 

(157) 


158  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

XIII.  In  The  Results  of  Three  Synods  (i.  e.,  1646-8,  1662,  1679).  Boston, 
1725.      16°  pp.  ii,  vi,  118.     [Platform,  pp.  I-49.] 

XIV.  Boston,  1731.' 

XV.  Boston,  1749.     16°  pp.  83. 

XVI.  Boston,  1757,  with  Confession  of  1680.^ 

XVII.  Boston,  1772,  with  Wise,  Vindication  of  the  Government  of  N.  E. 
Churches. 

XVIII.  Boston,  180S,  12°  pp.  70. 

XIX.  Boston,  1819,  12°  pp.  xvi,  52. 

XX.  In  The  Discipline  Practised  in  the  Churches  of  New  England,  Whit- 
church, Shropshire,  Eng.,  1823.     12°  pp.  xxiv,  130. 

XXI.  In  The  Cambridge  and  Say  brook  Platforms  .  .  .  with  the  Confes- 
sion of  .  .  .  1680 ;  and  the  Heads  of  Agreement  .  .  ,  ibgo.  Boston, 
1829,  12°  pp.  iv,  132  ;  Platform,  13-67. 

XXII.  In  Congregational  Order.  The  Ancient  Platforms  of  the  Congrega- 
tional Churches  of  New  England  [etc.]  Published  by  Direction  of  the  General 
Association  of  Connecticut.  Middletown,  1843,  12°  pp.  x,  351  ;  with  Saybrook  Con- 
fession, Articles,  and  the  Heads  of  Agreement,  etc.     Platform,  pp.  73-152.^ 

XXIII.  In  Report  on  Congregationalism ,  including  a  Manual  of  Church 
Discipline,  together  with  the  Cambridge  Platform,  adopted  in  1648,  and  the  Confes- 
sion of  Faith,  adopted  in  1680.    Boston,  1846,  18°  pp.  vi,  128.     Platform,  pp.  47-85.'' 

XXIV.  Reprint  of  the  Platform  and  Confession  from  the  edition  of  1846, 
Boston,  1850. 

XXV.  The  Cambridge  Platform  [etc.]  and  the  Confession  .  .  .  1680,  to 
which  is  prefixed  a  Platform  of  Ecclesiastical  Government,  by  Nath.  Eiiivions. 
Boston,  1855,  12°  pp.  ii,  20,  84. 

Sources 

I.  Records  of  the  Governor  and  Company  of  the  Massachusetts  Bay.  Boston, 
1853-4,  II:   154-156,  200,  285;  III:  70-73,  177,  178,  204,  235,  236,  240. 

II.  Winthrop,  History  of  Nezu  England  {Journal),  Savage's  ed.  Boston, 
1853,  II  :   323,  324,  329-332,  338,  376,  402,  403. 

III.  The  sources  are  well  epitomized  in  Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History  of  AVw 
England,  Boston,  1855,  1862,  I:  570-574,  577-579,  597,  598,  601,  602,  613;  II: 
5,  6,  16,  18,  19,  45,  46,  96,  97. 

Literature 

Among  the  various  accounts  of  the  Synod  and  Platform  by  later  writers  the  fol- 
lowing may  be  pointed  out : 

I.  Hubbard,  General  History  of  Nero  England  (written  about  1680).  Boston, 
1848,  pp.  532-540. 

II.  Mather,  Magnalia,  London,  1702,  Ed.  Hartford,  1853-5,  H  :  207-211, 
211-1T2.  passim. 


'  Ibid.,  7465.  =  Ilyid.,  7466. 

'^  Dexter  notes  3  editions  of  Cong.  Order.  Hartford,  [1842]  ;  Middletown,  1843  \  1845.  Cong, 
as  seen,  Bibl.  No.  5633. 

■•  By  a  Committee  of  which  Drs.  Leonard  Woods,  Heman  Humphrey,  Thomas  Snell,  Thomas 
Shepard,  Timothy  Cooley,  R.  S.  Storrs,  and  Rev.  Parsons  Coolte  were  the  members,  appointed  in 
May,  1844,  by  a  meeting  of  Congregational  ministers  in  Boston.  The  story  is  told  by  Dexter,  Cong, 
as  seen,  pp.  514,  515  ;  and  m  the  report  itself. 


PRESBYTERIAN   ASCEXDEN'CV    IN   ENGLAND  159 

III.  Neal,  History  of  iVezu-Englaini,  London,  1720,  I  :  272-275  (largely  from 
Mather).     Neal  gives  an  abridgment  of  the  Platform,  II :  643-655. 

IV.  Historical  Preface  to  The  Cambridge  tmd  Saybrook  Platforms,  etc.,  Bos- 
ton, 1S29,  pp.  5-12. 

V.  Clark,  Historical  Sketch  of  the  Congregational  Churches  in  Massachusetts, 
Boston,  1S5S,  pp.  39-43. 

VI.  Palfrey,  History  of  iXetu  England,  Boston,  1858-64,  II:   165-186. 

VII.  Dexter,  Congregationalism  .  .  .  as  seen  in  its  Literature,  New 
York,  iSSo,  pp.  435-44S. 

VIII.  A  very  unsympathetic  presentation  of  the  motives  of  the  framers  of  the 
Cambridge  Platform,  though  with  but  little  account  of  the  work  itself,  may  be  found 
in  Mr.  Brooks  Adams's  Emancipation  of  Massachusetts,  Boston,  1887,  pp.  79-104. 

IX.  Doyle,  The  English  in  America,  The  Puritan  Colonies,  London,  1887, 
II:  91-94. 

AS  has  already  been  pointed  out  in  a  previous  chapter/  the 
course  of  events  during  the  first  half  of  the  fifth  decade  of  the 
seventeenth  century  in  England  was  strongly  in  favor  of  Presbyteri- 
anism.  Politics  had  forced  Parliament  into  a  union  with  the  Scotch, 
when  the  arduous  nature  of  the  military  struggle  with  the  king 
had  become  evident;  and  union  had  signified  the  adoption  of  the 
Scotch  type  of  church  polity,  —  a  Presbyterianism  not  unwelcome 
at  first  to  a  large  portion  of  the  English  Puritans.  The  Westmin- 
ster Assembly  had  begun  its  sessions  in  July,  1643.  Its  Presby- 
terian complexion  had  been  evident  even  before  its  coming 
together,*  and  by  the  close  of  1645  it  had  prepared  a  full  scheme 
of  Presbyterian  government,  which  soon  received  the  approval  of 
Parliament  in  its  substantial  entirety.^  These  were  indeed  momen- 
tous changes,  and  it  might  well  be  anxiously  questioned  by  the 
Congregationalists  of  New  England  whether  a  Parliament  which 
had  seemingly  brought  the  ecclesiastical  institutions  of  England 
into  conformity  with  those  of  Scotland^  might  not  next  proceed  to 
enforce  a  similar  uniformity  in  New  England. 

Nor  were   there   those   wanting  in   New   England   itself  who 


'  See  (inie,  p.  136. 

*  When  Cotton,  Davenport,  and  Hooker  were  sounded  by  the  Independents  in  Parliament  in 
1642  as  to  whether  they  would  put  themselves  in  the  way  of  appointment  to  the  Assembly,  "Mr. 
Hooker  liked  not  the  business,  nor  thnujiht  it  any  sufficient  call  for  them  to  go  3,000  miles  to  agree 
with  three  men  (meaning  those  three  ministers  who  were  for  independency)."     Winthrop,  H:  92. 

'  See  ante,  p.  136,  note  2. 

*  "Seemingly,"  because,  though  adopted  by  Parliament,  Presbyterian  institutions  were  never 
successfully  established  in  most  parts  of  the  Kingdom. 


l6o  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

would  have  been  glad  to  welcome  Parliamentary  interference  in 
affairs  of  church  and  state  alike.  The  Presbyterian  movements  at 
Newbury,  which  resulted  in  the  meeting  of  ministers  at  Cambridge 
in  1643,  have  already  been  pointed  out;'  and  the  futility  of  the 
attempts  made  to  change  the  views  of  Noyes  and  Parker  shows 
that  their  convictions  were  such  that  they  would  be  likely  to  look 
with  favor  upon  Parliamentary  limitation  of  the  "  New  England 
way."  Nor  were  they  the  only  ministers  who  advocated  Presby- 
terian views.  Peter  Hobart,  the  pastor  at  Hingham,  was  essentially 
a  believer  in  the  Scotch  polity,  at  least  in  the  internal  management 
of  the  affairs  of  his  own  congregation."  And,  in  addition  to  these 
conscientious  supporters  of  Presbyterianism,  there  is  ample  evi- 
dence that  there  were  many  in  the  Massachusetts  Colony,  and 
some  of  them  men  of  weight  in  the  community,  who  felt  the  limit- 
ation of  the  franchise^  and  of  the  rights  of  baptism  to  those  in 
church-covenant  to  be  a  grievous  burden,  and  one  which  Parlia- 
mentary interference,  or  the  free  allowance  of  Presbyterianism, 
would  speedily  remove. 

An  illustration  of  this  temper  of  mind,  and  of  the  curiously 
mixed  motives  which  made  some  look  with  favor  on  Parliamentary 
interference  in  the  affairs  of  the  Colony,  occurred  in  1645.  The 
people  of  Hingham,^  tiring  of  their  former  commander  of  militia, 
chose  another  and  presented  his  name  to  the  magistrates  of  the 
General  Court  for  confirmation.  The  magistrates  thought  the  ac- 
tion inexpedient,  and  ordered  the  affair  to  rest  till  further  consid- 
eration could  be  had  by  the  Court.  But  the  Hingham  soldiery 
were  not  so  to  be  put  off,  and  again  chose  their  new  captain,  Allen. 
Of  course  this  action  was  opposed  by  the  former  commander, 
Eames,  and  some  discussion  took  place  as  to  the  exact  nature  of 
the  magistrate's  order.     The  Allen  party  charged  Eames,  before 


'  See  ante,  p.  137, 

2  "  Mr.  Hubbert,  the  pastor  there  [at  Hingham],  being  of  a  Presbyterial  spirit,  did  manage  all 
affairs  without  the  church's  advice,  which  divers  of  the  congregation  not  liking  of,  they  were  divided 
into  two  parts."     Winthrop,  II;  288. 

3  This  limitation  of  the  franchise  to  church-members  was  peculiar  to  Massachusetts  and  New 
Haven.     It  did  not  obtain  in  Plymouth  and  Connecticut. 

■•  The  story  is  told  at  length  by  Winthrop,  II :  271-313.  See  also  Records  of  .  .  .  Mas- 
sachtcsetts  Bay  {Q,o\o^\aX'^e.cox&<i)^  III:   17-26. 


TlIK    IIINGIIAIM    CONTROVERSY  l6l 

the  church,  with  untruth,  and  the  minister,  Peter  Hobart,  urged 
his  instant  excommunication.  Eames  appealed  to  Winthrop  and 
three  other  magistrates  for  redress,  and  they,  lending  a  willing  ear 
to  his  complaints,  ordered  the  five  leaders  in  the  renewed  choice 
of  Allen  and  the  subsequent  attack  upon  Eames,  to  appear  and 
give  surety  for  trial  before  the  next  General  Court.  It  so  hap- 
pened that  the  Rev.  Mr.  Hobart  was  brother  to  three  of  the  five 
accused,  a  fact  which  doubtless  accounts  in  part  for  his  eagerness 
to  see  Eames  cast  out  of  church-fellowship  ;  and  he  now-  presented 
himself  before  the  magistrates  and  protested  in  no  measured  terms 
against  their  recent  action.  But  matters  did  not  rest  here.  Five 
more  of  the  Hinghamites  were  summoned,  "  for  speaking  untruths 
of  the  magistrates  in  the  church,"  and  appeared,  this  time  before 
Winthrop  alone.  They  refused  to  give  bonds,  and  two  of  them  re- 
peating the  refusal  at  a  later  appearance,  Winthrop  ordered  the 
two  committed.  This  step  was  warmly  resented  by  the  people  of 
Hingham,  who  now,  under  the  lead  of  their  minister  and  to  the 
number  of  "about  ninety,"'  presented  a  petition  to  the  next  Gen- 
eral Court  asking  that  body  to  take  cognizance  of  Winthrop's  acts, 
—  though  avoiding  the  mention  of  his  name  in  the  document. 
The  matter  being  thus  presented  before  the  highest  colonial  tribu- 
nal, and  Winthrop  being  thus  charged  with  having  exceeded  the 
rightful  powers  of  a  magistrate,  the  case  was  tried  by  the  General 
Court.  The  Legislature  itself  was  much  divided,  but  the  outcome 
of  the  trial  was  that  Winthrop  was  acquitted  and  the  petitioners 
fined.  But  the  sympathy  of  the  lower  house  —  the  deputies  of  the 
towns — was  largely  against  the  magistrates  of  the  upper  house, 
who  were  felt  by  very  many,  even  of  the  Legislature,  to  be  too 
high  handed  in  their  general  administration. 

While  these  proceedings  had  been  taking  place  in  the  Court, 
the  meeting  of  ministers  from  the  various  colonies,  of  which  men- 
tion has  been  made  as  approving  Hooker's  S//nrv,  occurred  at 
Cambridge."  Their  sympathies  were  declaredly  on  the  side  of  the 
magistrates,  who  had  therefore  proposed  that  their  advice  should 


>  The  Colonial  Records  (Vol.  Ill :   17)  say  "to  the  noumber  of  Si. 
'July  I,  1645,  see  auie,  p.  141. 


l62  THE    CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM. 

be  taken  in  the  dispute;  but  this  the  deputies  of  the  towns  opposed 
so  firmly  that  the  proposition  failed.'  But  the  ministers  were 
brought  into  the  dispute,  nevertheless,  for  when  Rev.  Mr.  Hobart 
perceived  that  matters  were  going  against  him,  and  that  his  oppo- 
nents at  Hingham  were  withdrawing  from  his  congregation,  he 
called  in  the  advice  of  the  "  elders,"  Who,  as  might  be  expected, 
found  him  to  be  in  the  wrong  and  sustained  the  magistrates. 

Under  these  circumstances  the  temper  of  Rev.  Mr.  Hobart 
and  his  friends  at  Hingham  rose;  and  when  attempt  was  made  to 
levy  the  fines  imposed,  it  was  forcibly  resisted.  For  this  Rev.  Mr. 
Hobart  and  his  associates  were  proceeded  against  by  the  magis- 
trates, in  March,  1646,  and  in  due  time  brought  before  the  "court 
of  assistants.'"'  Here  it  was  proved  that  Mr.  Hobart  had  publicly 
attacked  the  authority  of  the  Colony  by  declaring,  among  other 
things,  "That  we  were  but  as  a  corporation  in  England";  and 
"  That  by  our  patent  (as  he  understood  it)  we  could  not  put  any 
man  to  death,  nor  do  divers  other  things  which  we  did.""  For 
this  he  was  fined  £,20. 

Doubtless  it  has  seemed  to  the  reader  that  the  measure  dealt 
out  to  Mr.  Hobart  was  hard.  But  the  situation  was  certainly  one 
to  excite  serious  alarm.  The  danger  of  Parliamentary  interference 
in  the  affairs  of  church  and  state  in  New  England  was  great.  A 
division  at  home  at  such  a  time  was  most  unfortunate  ;  and  the 
state  of  affairs  was  rendered  doubly  perilous  by  the  evidence  which 
the  Hingham  quarrel  revealed,  even  among  the  church-members 
of  the  lower  house,  of  restiveness  under  the  existing  state  of  affairs. 


1  "  The  deputies  would  by  no  means  consent  thereto,  for  they  knew  that  many  of  the  elders 
understood  the  cause,  and  were  more  careful  to  uphold  the  honor  and  power  of  the  magistrates  than 
themselves  well  liked  of."     Winthrop,  II:  278. 

"  It  need  hardly  be  pointed  out  that  according  to  the  charter  of  1629  the  government  of  the 
Mass.  Company  consisted  of  a  governor,  deputy-governor,  and  assistants  (the  whole  body  popularly 
known  as  magistrates),  chosen  by  the  magistrates  and  freemen  assembled  in  General  Court  each 
spring.  As  the  freemen  grew  m  number,  their  presence  as  a  whole  became  impossible;  in  1634, 
therefore,  they  were  allowed  to  appear  by  deputies  from  each  town.  In  1644  the  deputies  and  magis- 
trates were  separated  into  two  houses.  In  accordance  with  the  charter  the  governor,  deputy-gov- 
ernor, and  assistants  (/.  t'.,  the  magistrates),  could  hold  a  judicial  and  legislative  court  whenever 
necessary  between  the  meetings  of  the  General  Court.  There  was  at  this  time  no  sharp  distinction 
between  the  enactment  of  laws  and  the  administration  of  justice  in  any  of  these  courts.  See,  inter 
alia.  Records  Mass.  Bay,  I:  11,  12,  118,  119;  II:  58,  59;  Hutchinson,  Hist.  Mass.  Bay,  I:  25,  26, 
35-37;  Palfrey,  Hist.  N.  E.,  I  ,  371-382,  617-623;  II:  8-18. 

3  Winthrop,  II :   313. 


WIDE-SPREAD    UNREST  163 

Nor  were  matters  bettered  by  the  denunciations  of  the  acts  of  the 
colonial  government  as  unauthorized,  and  their  whole  body  of 
liberties  as  subject  to  Parliamentary  revision,  in  which  one  of  the 
ministers  of  the  Colony  had  indulged.  Having  thus  declared  him- 
self, the  next  logical  step  for  Mr.  Hobart  to  take  was  to  appeal  for 
the  same  Parliamentary  redress  which  might  have  been  invoked 
against  the  proceedings  of  any  English  corporation;  and  if  Parlia- 
ment once  began  interference  no  man  could  predict  where  it 
would  end. 

The  further  step  which  Hobart  did  not  take  was  actually 
taken  by  others  of  more  determination,  in  a  movement  inimical  to 
the  Colony,  and  at  one  time  exceedingly  formidable.  It  is  perhaps 
unwarrantable  to  say  that  this  more  serious  attack  upon  the  gov- 
ernment would  not  have  been  made  had  the  Hingham  affair  never 
occurred,  but  it  seems  not  too  much  to  affirm  that  its  immediate 
occasion  was  the  excitement  aroused  by  the  course  of  events  at 
Hingham.  And  while  it  is  doubtful  whether  any  very  determined 
love  of  Presbyterianism,  as  a  system  of  church  polity,  moved  these 
opponents  of  the  Massachusetts  system,  they  were  willing  enough 
to  welcome  those  features  of  Presbyterianism'  and  of  Parliament- 
ary interference  which  would  aid  them  in  their  main  purpose,  the 
overthrow  of  existing  institutions. 

This  new  movement^  began  with  a  neighbor  of  Mr.  Hobart, 
William  Vassall,  one  of  the  assistants  of  the  Company  named  in 
the  charter  of  1629  ;  but  apparently  a  man  of  discontented  spirit 
always.^  For  some  years  Vassall  had  been  a  resident  of  Scituate, 
under  the  Plymouth  jurisdiction  ;  where,  indeed,  no  necessity  of 
church-membership  laid  restriction  upon  suffrage,  but  where  the 
usual  New  England  customs  prevailed  in  religious  matters.  His 
plan    of   action   was   simple   and   promised   success.      Taking  ad- 


■  Palfrey,  II :  i66,  calls  the  movement  a  "  Cabal  of  Presbyterians,"  but  as  Brooks  Adams  has 
pointed  out,  Emancipation  of  Mass. ^  p.  95,  the  proof  that  this  was  primarily  a  religious  move- 
ment seems  wanting. 

2  I"or  its  history,  see  Winthrop,  II  :  319-392,  passim  :  Hubbard,  499-51S  ;  Hutchinson,  1 :  145- 
149;  Palfrey,  11:166-179. 

'  Winthrop,  II :  319,  speaks  of  him  as:  "a  man  of  a  busy  and  factious  spirit,  and  always  op- 
posite  to  the  civil  governments  of  this  country  and  the  way  of  our  churches";  and  Palfrey,  1 :  167, 
declares  that  this  view  has  "  some  confirmation  "  from  other  sources.  Savage  gives  an  account  of 
him  in  a  note  to  Winthrop,  II :  319. 


164  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM. 

vantage  of  the  political  situation  on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic, 
he  determined  that  petitions  should  be  presented  to  the  General 
Courts  of ' 

"  Massachusetts  and  of  Plimouth,  and  (if  that  succeeded  not)  then  to  the  parliament 
of  England,  that  the  distinctions  which  were  maintained  here,  both  in  civil  and  church 
estate,  might  be  taken  away,  and  that  we  might  be  wholly  governed  by  the  laws  of 
England." 

As  a  first  step,  Vassall  had  the  case  laid  before  the  Plymouth 

Court,  in  October,  1645,  and  proposed,  so  Winslow  records,^ 

"  to  allow  and  maintaine  full  and  free  toUerance  of  religion  to  all  men  that  would 
preserve  the  civill  peace  and  submit  unto  government." 

Nor  did   the  proposition  meet  a  wholly  unfavorable  hearing 

on  the  part  of  some  of  the  Court  ;  but  Bradford  refused  to  let  the 

matter  come  to  a  vote  and  thus  brought  the  petition  to  naught. 

The  next  step  seems  to  have  been  the  preparation  of  a  petition  ^ 

"to  the  parliament,  pretending  that  they  being  freeborn  subjects  of  England,  v  .re 
denied  the  liberty  of  subjects,  both  in  church  and  commonwealth,  themselves  and 
their  children  debarred  from  the  seals  of  the  covenant,  except  they  would  submit  to 
such  a  way  of  entrance  and  church  covenant,  as  their  consciences  could  not  admit, 
and  take  such  a  civil  oath  as  would  not  stand  with  their  oath  of  allegiance." 

But  Vassall  was  not  working  alone  in  the  matter.  His  sym- 
pathizers in  Massachusetts  were  numerous  ;  and  now,  at  the  Gen- 
eral Court  held  at  Boston  in  May,  1646,  some  seven  of  them,  Dr. 
Robert  Child,  Thomas  Fowle.  Samuel  Maverick,  Thomas  Burton, 
John  Smith,  David  Yale,  and  John  Dand^ — the  first-named  a 
reputed  graduate  of  Padua,  and  all  the  others  of  sufficient  stand- 
ing to  be  given  the  title  of  "  Mr."  by  Winthrop, —  presented  a  pe- 
tition^ in   which  the  statements  of  the  proposed  memorial  to  Par- 


1  Winthrop,  II  :  319. 

"^  Our  information  is  derived  from  a  letter  of  Winslow  to  Winthrop  preserved  in  Hutchinson, 
//z'si.  .  .  .  Mass.  Bay,  III  {Collection)  :  153-155,  under  date  of  Nov.  24,  1645.  The  letter 
carefully  omits  the  names  of  the  petitioners. 

3  Winthrop,  II  :  319,  320. 

"•  Brief  biographical  notes  regarding  most  of  the  signers,  by  Savage,  will  be  found  in  his 
second  edition  of  Winthrop,  II  :  320,  321. 

*  The  text  of  the  petition  may  be  found  in  Hutchinson,  III  (Collection)  :  188-196.  Some  of 
its  more  important  passages  are  the  following:  "  i.  Whereas  this  place  hath  been  planted  by  the 
incouragement,  next  under  God,  of  letterts  patent  given  and  granted  by  his  Majesty  of  England 
.  .  .  .  we  cannot,  according  to  our  judgments,  discerne  a  setled  forme  of  government  accord- 
ing to  the  lawes  of  England,  ...  2.  Whereas  there  are  many  thousands  in  t  hese  plantations,  of 
the  English  nation,  freeborne,  quiett  and  peaceable  men,  righteous  in  their  dealings,  forward  with 
hand,  heart  and  purse,  to  advance  the  publick  good  .  .  .  who  are  debarred  from  all  civill  im- 
ployments  (without  any  just  cause   that  we  know)  not   being  permitted  to  bear  the  least   office 


GROUNDS    OF    DISSATISFACTION  165 

liament  were  amplified  and  strengthened,  and  formal  notice  was 
given  that,  unless  the  prayer  was  heard,  recourse  would  be  had 
to  Parliament. 

It  is  impossible  not  to  have  a  high  degree  of  sympathy  with 
these  men  in  their  complaint.  The  formidable  barriers  which 
stood  in  the  way  of  church-membership  have  already  been  pointed 
out,'  and  justifiable  as  they  seemed  from  a  Congregational  stand- 
point as  to  the  proper  composition  of  a  church,  they  were  a  de- 
parture from  the  practice  of  all  ecclesiastical  bodies  of  import- 
ance then  to  be  found  in  the  Protestant  world.  The  matter  of 
the  franchise  was  even  more  galling.  Though  the  population 
of  Massachusetts  was  probably  over  15,000  at  the  time  of  the 
petition,  up  to  1643  O'"'')'  iJoS  persons  had  become  citizens  in  the 
Colony,  and  of  them  a  number  had  removed  to  Connecticut.  If 
the  ecclesiastical  test  was  not  applied  in  Plymouth,  the  case  was 
even  worse  there;  so  difficult  was  it  to  obtain  citizenship  that 
out  of  some  3,000  inhabitants  only  about  230  had  been  enfran- 
chised by  1643.^  Not  only  were  the  majority  of  the  male  inhabit- 
ants thus  shut  out  from  any  active  share  in  the  government,  the 
ranks  of  the  excluded  contained  many  of  wealth,  character,  and  in- 
fluence in  the  community.  But  while  it  must  be  admitted  that  the 
complaints  of  the  disfranchised  had  much  justification,  the  time 
was  no  fit  season  for  a  change  in  the  constitution.     The  leaders 


(though  it  cannot  be  denyed  but  some  are  well  qualifyed)  no  not  so  much  as  to  have  any  vote  in 
choosing  magistrates,  captains  or  other  civill  and   military  officers ;   notwithstanding   they    have 

.  .  .  paid  all  assessments,  taxes,  rates.  .  .  .  We  therefore  desire  that  civill  liberty  and  free- 
dom be  forthwith  granted   to  all  truely  English,  equall  to  the  rest  of  their  countrymen 

3.  Whereas  their  are  diverse  sober,  righteous  and  godly  men,  eminent  for  knowledge  and  other 
gracious  gifts  of  the  holy  spirit,  no  wayes  scandalous  in  their  lives  and  conversation,  members  of 
the  church  of  Endland  ...  .  not  dissenting  from  the  latest  and  best  reformation  of  England, 
Scotland,  &c.  yet  they  and  their  posterity  are  deteined  from  the  seales  of  the  covenant  of  free 
grace,  because,  as  it  is  supposed,  they  will  not  take  these  churches  covenants,  for  which  as  yet  they 
see  no  light  in  Gods  word  .  .  .  They  are  compelled,  under  a  severe  fine,  every  Lords  day  to  ap- 
pear at  the  congregation,  and  notice  is  taken  of  such  who  stay  not  till  baptism  be  administred  to 
other  mens  children,  though  deneyed  to  their  owne  ;     .     .     .     We  therefore   humbly  intreat  you 

.  .  .  to  give  liberty  to  members  of  the  church  of  England,  not  scandalous  in  their  lives  and 
conversations  .  .  .  to  be  taken  into  your  congregation  and  to  enjoy  with  you  all  those  liberties 
and  ordinances  Christ  hath  purchased  for  them  ...  or  otherwise  to  grant  liberty  to  settle 
themselves  here  in  a  church  way,  according  to  the  best  reformations  of  England  and  .Scotland,  if 
not,  we  and  they  shall  be  necessitated  to  apply  our  humble  desires  to  the  honourable  houses  of 
parliament." 

'  See  ante,  p.  106. 

2  These  figures  may  be  found  in  Palfrey,  History  0/ Nezu  England^  II  :  5-8. 


1 66  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

of  New  England  felt  that  they  were  the  champions  of  a  religious 
cause  not  only  in  their  own  land  but  in  England, —  a  cause,  too, 
which  was  unpopular  in  the  eyes  of  the  majority  of  Parliament. 
They  feared  that  their  system  was  to  be  attacked  by  the  English 
authorities  in  its  political  and  ecclesiastical  features  ;  anti  they 
felt,  therefore,  that  instead  of  effecting  any  changes,  the  result 
of  which  it  was  impossible  to  foresee,  they  must  strengthen  the 
foundations  of  existing  institutions  and  prepare  to  meet  opposi- 
tion.    The  petition  was  therefore  laid  over  till  the  next  session.' 

But  though  the  petition  was  not  dealt  with  at  this  time,  the 
movement  which  led  to  the  petition,  rather  than  the  petition 
itself,^  had  determined  the  ministers  and  magistrates  of  the  Col- 
ony to  secure,  if  possible,  a  united  ecclesiastical  constitution. 
Congregationalism  had  passed  the  experimental  stage.  It  was 
no  longer  the  polity  of  small  and  isolated  congregations,  like 
those  of  Amsterdam  or  Scrooby.  It  was  now  substantially  the 
established  church  of  New  England,  and  as  such  was  united  by 
common  interests,  and  bound  together  by  the  necessarily  con- 
servative attitude  toward  other  polities  which  such  a  position  im- 
plied. As  yet  this  essential  unity  had  had  no  expression.  Its 
features  had  been  delineated  in  many  works  of  recognized  value, 
but  they  had  found  no  authoritative  statement.  There  was  no 
standard  by  which  the  relations  of  one  church  to  another  could 
be  determined  ;  none  which  decided  whether  a  certain  course  of 
action  was  Congregational  or  not.  Whether  the  creation  of  such 
a  standard  was  strictly  in  accordance  with  the  original  principles 
of  Congregationalism  may  be  questioned;  but  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  it  was  a  logical  and  necessary  step-  in  development 
if  Congregationalism  was  to  be  enforced  by  the  civil  government 
as  an  exclusive  polity.  The  difference  between  English  and 
American  Congregationalism  is  chiefly  due  to  this  unlikeness  of  re- 


1  Winthrop,  II :  321. 

2  Whether  the  order  for  a  Synod  followed  the  presentation  of  the  petition  is  doubtful  —  the 
Court  began  May  6,  1646,  and  lasted  "near  three  weeks"  (i.  e.,  till  about  the  25th).  The  order 
for  the  Synod  is  entered  in  the  Colony  Records  (II  :  154),  under  date  of  May  15.  It  was  the 
subject  also  of  considerable  discussion  before  its  passage.  But  Winthrop  (II  :  321),  declares  that 
the  petition  was  presented,  "  the  court  being  then  near  at  an  end." 


THE   COURT   CALLS   A   SYNOD  167 

lationship  to  the  state  and  to  other  ecclesiastical  bodies.  English 
Independency  has  always  occupied  a  more  or  less  conscious  po^ 
sition  of  protest  against  the  established  Episcopacy.  It  has  never 
had  state  support.  It  has  therefore  always  had  a  certain  radical 
and  innovating  character,  and  the  necessity  of  fixing  its  own 
standards  has  never  been  sharply  impressed  upon  it  ;  rather  its 
whole  course  has  been  one  of  protest  against  standards  erected 
and  imposed  by  authority.  But  New  England  Congregationalism, 
in  becoming  a  dominant  church-system  enjoying  the  support  of 
the  state,  took  of  necessity  a  conservative  position.  Other  bodies, 
including  the  Church  of  England  itself,  when  they  appeared  on 
New  England  soil,  were  the  innovators  who  were  to  show  cause 
for  their  departure  from  the  New  England  way.  Such  a  position 
demands  the  establishment  of  standards  and  the  recognition  of 
certain  uniform  methods  of  procedure,  that  the  established  pol- 
ity may  maintain  its  integrity.' 

The  natural  and  Congregational  way  to  arrive  at  any  such 
agreement  in  regard  to  the  common  polity  of  the  churches  was 
by  means  of  a  Synod,  or,  as  modern  Congregationalism  would 
prefer  to  call  it,  a  Council.  But  as  the  Congregationalism  of  the 
seventeenth  century  was  largely  imbued  with  the  feeling  that 
the  officers  of  civil  government  were  to  be  consulted  in  all  affairs 
of  moment  concerning  the  churches,  the  motion  toward  this 
Synod  took  the  form  of  an  application  by  some  of  the  ministers 
to  the  General  Court  of  the  Massachusetts  Colony,  at  its  May 
session  in  1646,  for  the  summons  of  such  a  meeting.'  The  bill, 
which  would  appear  to  have  been  drawn  up  in  form  for  enact- 
ment by  the  ministers  who  presented  it,  encountered  the  same  di- 
versity of  feeling  which  had  been  shown  in  the  Hingham  affair. 
The  magistrates,  in  sympathy  with  the  clerical  applicants,  passed 
the  bill  as  presented  ;  but  the  deputies  of  the  towns  objected  to 
the  mandatory  form  of  the  enactment:" 

"  First,  because  therein  civil  authority  did  require  the  churches  to  send  their 
messengers  to  it,  and  divers  among  them  [the  deputies]  were  not  satisfied  of  any 


'  See  the  suggestive  remarks  of  Palfrey,  Hist.  X.  F...  II  :  179-183. 
2  Winthrop,  II :  323.  3  lUd. 


1 68  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

such  power  given  by  Christ  to  the  civil  magistrate  over  the  churches  in  such  cases  ; 
secondly,  whereas  the  main  end  of  the  synod  was  propounded  to  be,  an  agreement 
upon  one  uniform  practice  in  all  the  churches,  the  same  to  be  commended  to  the 
general  court,  etc.,  this  seemed  to  give  power  either  to  the  synod  or  the  court  to 
compel  the  churches  to  practise  what  should  so  be  established." 

The  magistrates  were  ready  in  the  main  to  defend  the  posi- 
tions to  which  the  deputies  objected.  They  declared  the  right  of 
the  magistrates  to  summon  representatives  from  the  churches 
when  occasion  demanded;'  and  though  they  were  clear  that 
the  proposed  Synod  would  have  no  power  to  command,  but  only 
to  counsel,  they  were  positive  that  the  Court  could  enforce  or 
reject  the  result,  as  it  seemed  to  the  mind  of  the  Legislature  to 
accord  or  not  with  the  Word  of  God.  Yet  it  was  evident  that 
something  should  be  conceded  to  the  deputies'  scruples,  and  it 
was  therefore  decided  that,  though  the  Court  would  waive  none 
of  the  theoretic  rights  asserted  by  the  magistrates,  the  call  should 
take  the  form  of  invitation  rather  than  command.  Agreement 
being  thus  reached,  both  houses  united  in  a  request  for  the  de- 
sired Synod. 

The  length  of  the  document  which  embodies  this  call  might 
well  seem  to  make  its  omission  here  desirable,  was  it  not  for 
the  light  which  it  sheds  on  the  matters  which  the  General  Court 
supposed  would  form  the  topic  of  the  Synod's  discussions.  A 
careful  reading  will  show  that  the  Court  intended  a  more  direct 
treatment  of  the  questions  raised  by  Vassall,  Child,  and  their  as- 
sociates than  the  Synod  actually  gave  ;  and  it  certainly  shows 
that  problems  which  have  usually  been  associated  wnth  a  later 
stage  of  New  England  history  were  uppermost  in  the  minds  of 
those  who  issued  the  call. 

"  Boston,  y*  is""  3"'  m,  1646.^ 
The  right  forme  of  church  gov''mn^  &  discipline  being  agreed  ^  pt  of  y**  king- 
dome  of  Christ  upon  earth,  therefore  y"  establishing  &  settleing  thereof  by  y"  ioynt 
&  publike  agreem'  &  consent  of  churches,  &  by  y*  sanction  of  civill  authority,  must 


1  The  reason  given  is  that  God  has  laid  on^the  civil  rulers  the  duty  of  maintaining  the  purity 
of  the  churches,  both  in  doctrine  and  discipline.     Ibid. 

2  The  call  is  recorded  in  the  Journal  of  the  upper  house.  Records  .  .  .  Mass.  Bay., 
II  :  154-156,  and  of  the  lower,  Ibid.,  Ill  :  70-73.  There  are  a  few  minor  verbal  differences,  which, 
will  be  noted  only  when  they  affect  the  sense.     The  text  here  given  is  that  of  the  upper  house. 

5  Deputies'  Record,  a  good />tc. 


TEXT    OF    THE    CALL  169 

needs  greatly  conduce  to  y"  bono'  &  glory  of  o''  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  &  to  y"  settleing  & 
safety  of  church  and  comon  wealth,  where  such  a  duty  is  diligently '  attended  & 
p'formed  ;  &  in  asmuch  as  times  of  publike  peace,  w"''  by  y*  m'cy  of  God  are 
vouchsafed  to  these  plantations,  but  how  long  y"  same  may  continue  wee  do  not 
know,  are  much  more  comodious  for  y"  effecting  of  such  a  worke  then  those  trouble- 
some times  of  warr  &  publike  disturbances  thereby,  as  y"  example  of  o''  deare  native 
country  doth  witnes  at  this  day,  where  by  reason  of  y*  publike  comotions  &  troubles 
in  y*  state  of  ^  reformation  of  religion,  &  y"  establishing  of  y"  same  is  greatly  retarded, 
&  at  y*  best  cannot  be  p'fected  w"'out  much  difficulty  &  danger,  &  whereas  divers  of 
o'  Christian  country  men  &  freinds  in  England,  both  of  y*  ministry  &  oth's,  con- 
sidering y*  state  of  things  in  this  country  in  regard  of  o''  peace  &  otherwise,  have  sun- 
dry times,  out  of  their  brothMy  faithfulnes,  &  love,  &  care  of  our  weldoing,  earnestly  by 
lett"  from  thence  solicited,  &  called  upon  us  y'  wee  would  not  neglect  y"  oportunity 
W^*"  God  hath  put  in  our  hands  for  ye  effecting  of  so  glorious  &  good  a  worke  as  is 
mentioned,  whose  advertisem"  are  not  to  be  passed  over  without  due  regard  had 
thereunto,  &  consid''ing  w"'all  y',  through  want  of  y"  thing  here  spoken  of,  some 
differences  of  opinion  &  practice  of  one  church  fro""  anoth''  do  already  appeare 
amongst  us,  &  oth"  (If  not  timely  p' vented)  are  like  speedily  to  ensue,  &  this  not 
onely  in  lesser  things,  but  even  in  pointes  of  no  small  consequence  &  very  material!, 
to  instance  in  no  more  but  onely  those  about  baptisme,  &  y"  p'sons  to  be  received 
thereto,  in  w"^"*  one  pticular  y*  app'hensions  of  many  p'sons  in  y*  country  are  knowne 
not  a  little  to  differ  ;  for  whereas  in  most  churches  the  minist"  do  baptize  ^  onely 
such  children  whose  nearest  parents,  one  or  both  of  them,  are  setled  memb",  in  full 
cornunion  w"^  one  or  other  of  these  churches,  there  be  some  who  do  baptize  y*  chil- 
dren if  y*  grandfather  or  grandmother  be  such  members,  though  the  ifnediate  parents 
be  not,*  &  oth"  though  for  avoyding  of  offence  of  neighbo''  churches,  they  do  not  as 
yet  actually  so  practice,  yet  they  do  much  incline  thereto,  as  thinking  more  liberty 
and  latitude  in  this  point  ought  to  be  yeilded  then  hath  hitherto  bene  done,^  iS: 
many  p'sons  liveing  in  y®  country  who  have  bene  members  of  y*  congregations  in 
England,  but  are  not  found  fit  to  be  received  at  y"  Lords  table  here,  there  be  not- 
w"'standing  considerable  p'sons  in  these  churches  who  do  thinke  that  y®  children  of 
these  also,  upon  some  conditions  &  tearmes,  may  &  ought  to  be  baptized  likewise  ; 
on  the  oth''  side  there  be  some  amongst  us  who  do  thinke  that  whatever  be  y'  state 
of  y"  parents,  baptisme  ought  not  to  be  dispensed  to  any  infants  whatsoever,^  w'^''  va- 
rious app'hensions  being  seconded  w"*  practices  according  thereto,  as  in  part  they 
already  are,  &  are  like  to  be  more,  must  needs,  if  not  timely  remedied  beget  such 
differences  as  wilbe  displeasing  to  the  Lord,  offensive  to  others,  &  dangerous  to 
our  selues,  therefore '  for  the  further  healing  &  preventing  of  the  further  groth  of  the 
said  differences,  and  upon  other  groundes,  and  for  other  ends  aforementioned. 


'  /iiii.,  deivly.  2  //,/,;'.    ye.  3  Ibid.,  omits  baptize. 

•■  Cotton  had  declared  this  to  be  the  view  held  by  him  and  the  Boston  church,  in  a  letter 
written  to  the  Dorchester  church  as  early  as  Dec.  16,  1634.  See  Increase  Mather,  First  Principles 
0/  Neiv  England,  Concerning  The  Subject  of  Baptistne,  etc.,  Cambridge,  1675,  p.  2  ;  Hooker 
took  the  opposite  view.     Sur7'ey,  Pt.  3,  pp.  9-27. 

5  As  early  as  1645,  Richard  Mather  had  advocated  what  was  substantially  the  half-way-cov- 
enant position.     First  Principles.,  etc.,  p.  11. 

«  Instances  of  Baptist  believers,  at  Salem  and  elsewhere  in  Massachusetts  colony,  previous  to 
1646,  will  be  found  in  G.  E.  Ellis,  Puritan  Age  .  .  .in  Mass.,  pp.  379-386.  It  is  possible  that 
some  inkling  of  the  views  of  Henry  Dunster,  which  were  to  compel  him  to  resign  the  presidency  of 
Harvard  College  in  1654,  had  already  got  abroad. 

'  In  the  Deputies'  Record  this  clause  beginning  therefore  opens  the  next  paragraph. 
12 


170  THE    CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

Althrough  this  Courte  make  no  question  of  their  lawfull  power  by  the  word  of 
God  to  assemble  the  churches,  or  their  messeng'"',  upon  occasion  of  counsell,  or  any 
thing  w'^^  may  concerne  the  practise  of  the  churches,  yet  because  all  members  of  the 
churches  (though  godly  &  faithfull)  are  not  yet  clearely  satisfied  in  this  point,  it  is 
therefore  thought  expedient,  for  the  p'sent  occasion,  not  to  make  use  of  that  power, 
but  rather  to  exprese '  o''  desire  that  the  churches  will  answere  the  desire  of  this 
p'sent  Generall  Co'te,  that  there  be  a  publike  assembly  of  the  elders  &  other  messen- 
gers of  the  severall  churches  within  this  iurisdiction,  who  may  come  together  & 
meete  at  Cambridge  upon  the  first  day  of  September  now  next  ensuing,  there  to 
discusse,  dispute,  &  cleare  up,  by  the  word  of  God,  such  questions  of  church  gov- 
emm'  &  discipline  in  y*"  things  aforementioned,  or  any  oth"',  as  they  shall  thinke 
needfuU  &  meete,  &  to  continue  so  doing  till  they,  or  y°  maior  part  of  them,  shall 
have  agreed  &  consented  upon  one  forme  of  gov''ment  &  discipline,  for  the  maine 
&  substantial!  pts  thereof,  as  that  w'^''  they  iudge  agreeable  to  the  Holy  Scriptures, 
which  worke,  if  it  be  found  greater  then  can  well  be  dispatched  at  one  meeting,  or 
session  of  y'  said  assembly,  they  may  then,  as  occasion  &  neede  shall  require,  make 
two  sessions  or  more,  for  y*  finishing  of  y*  same  ;  &  what  they  shall  agree  upon  they 
shall  exhibite  y'  same  in  writing  to  y*  Govern'',  or  Deputy  Gov'"n'',  for  y"  time  being, 
who  shall  p'sent  y^  same  to  y"  Gen'all  Courte  then  next  ensuing,  to  y'  end  that  the 
same  being  found  agreeable  to  y"  word  of  God,  it  may  receive  from  y"  said  Gen''all 
Co''te  such  app'bation  as  is  meete,  that  y*  Lord  being  thus  acknowledged  by  church 
&  state  to  be  o''  Iudge,  o''  Lawgiver,  &  o""  King,  he  may  be  graciously  pleased  still 
to  save  us,  as  hith''to  hee  hath  done,  «S:  glory  may  still  dwell  in  o''  land,  truth  &  peace 
may  abide  still  in  these  churches  &  plantations,  &  o''  posterity  may  not  so  easily 
decline  fro™  y"  good  way,  when  they  shall  receive  y*^  same  thus  publikely  &  sol- 
emnly coiiiended  to  them,  but  may  rath"'  ad  to  such  begiuings  of  reformation  & 
purity  as  wee  in  o'  times  have  endeav''ed  after,  &  so  y'  churches  in  Newe  England 
may  be  Jehovahs,  &  hee  may  be  to  us  a  God  from  gen'ation  to  generation. 

And  as  for  y"  cost  &  charges  of  y*  said  Assembly,  its  thought  meete,  iust,  & 
equall  that  those  churches  who  shall  thinke  meete  to  send  their  eld''s  &  messeng''s  shall 
take  such  care  as  that,  dureing  their  attendance  at  y*  said  Assembly,  they  may  be  p'vided 
for,  as  is  meete,  &  what  strangers  or  oth"  shall,  for  their  owne  edification,  be  p'sent 
at  the  said  Assembly,  they  to  p'vide  for  themselues  &  bear  their  owne  charge.  And," 
forasmuch  as  ye  plantations  w"'in  y*  iurisdictions  of  Plimoth,  Conectecott,  &  Newe 
Haven  are  combined  &  united  w""  these  plantations  w"'in  y''  ]\Iassachusets,  ia  y' 
same  civill  combination  &  confederacy, —  ^ 

It  is  therefore  hereby  ordered  &  agreed,  that  y"  churches  w"=in  y«  said  iurisdic- 
tions shalbe  requested  to  send  their  elders  &  messeng"  to  y''  Assembly  aforemen- 
tioned, for  w'^'^  end  y"  Secretary  for  y'=  time  being  shall  send  a  sufficient  number  of 
coppies  of  this  p'sent*  declaration  unto  y^  eld's  of  ye  churches  w'^'in  ye  iurisdictions 
aforementioned,  or  unto  y*  governer  or  govern'',  comission''  or  comission",  for  y' 
said  confederate  iurisdictions  respectively,  that  so  those  churches,  haveing  timely  no- 
tice thereof,  may  y'^  betf  p'vide  to  send  their  eld"  &  messengers  to  y^  Assembly, 
who,  being  so  sent,  shall  be  received  as  pts  &  members  ^  thereof,  &  shall   have  like 


1  Deputies'  Record  reads,  rather  hereby  declare  it  to  be  ye  desire  of  this  />scnt  Geniieral) 
Coitrte,  yt  there  be  a  piiblicke  assembly. 

2  In  the  Deputies'  Record  this  sentence  begins  tlie  next  paragraph. 

3  Reference  is  here  made  to  the  union  effected  between  tlie  four  colonies  in  1643. 

4  Deputies'  Record, /Jt-«i'  order  or  declarcon.  ^  Ibid.,  pte  memb'' s. 


RECEPTION   BY   THE   CHURCHES  171 

lib''ty  &   pow'  of  disputing  &  voting  therein,   as  shall  y"  messeng"  &  eld"  of  y* 
churches  \v"'in  y"  iurisdiction  of  y"  Massachusets." 

It  is  evident  that  the  Court  intended  that  the  Synod  should 
pass  upon  the  questions  regarding  baptism  and  church-member- 
ship which  were  already  agitating  the  community,  and  which  ap- 
peared in  the  petition  of  Dr.  Child  and  his  associates. 

The  summer  between  the  adjournment  of  the  Court  and  the 
time  set  for  the  meeting  of  the  Synod  was  spent  largely  in  discus- 
sion, in  which  that  petition  and  its  supporters  came  in  for  a  full 
share  of  condemnation  from  the  upholders  of  existing  institutions.' 
But  it  is  plain  that  the  frequent  sermons  to  which  Massachusetts 
congregations  listened  that  summer  did  not  wholly  remove  the  ob- 
jections entertained  by  many  as  to  the  propriety  of  a  Synod,  and 
especially  of  a  Synod  called  by  the  General  Court,  in  spirit  if  not 
in  letter.  When  the  appointed  first  of  September  arrived,  how- 
ever, all  the  Massachusetts  churches  had  sent  their  representa- 
tives, "except  Boston,  Salem,  Hingham,  Concord."^  The  absence 
of  the  latter  was  accidental,  for  Concord  had  not  been  able  to  find 
any  brother  fit  to  send  and  its  pastor  was  hindered.  Hingham,  in 
view  of  recent  events,  would  hardly  have  been  likely  to  respond  to 
an  invitation  of  the  General  Court,  even  if  the  Presbyterian  sym- 
pathies of  its  minister  had  been  less  pronounced.  But  with  Boston 
and  Salem  the  case  was  more  serious.  These  churches,  one  the 
oldest  and  the  other  the  largest  in  the  Colony,  took  exception  to 
the  Synod'  — 

"  I.  Because  by  a  grant  in  the  Liberties  the  elders  had  liberty  to  assemble 
without  the  compliance  of  civil  authority,  2.  It  was  reported,  that  this  motion  came 
originally  from  some  of  the  elders,  and  not  from  the  court,  3.  In  the  order  was  ex- 
pressed, that  what  the  major  part  of  the  assembly  should  agree  upon  should  be  pre- 
sented to  the  court,  that  they  might  give  such  allowance  to  it  as  should  be  meet,  hence 
was  inferred  that  this  synod  was  appointed  by  the  elders,  to  the  intent  to  make  eccle- 
siastical laws  to  bind  the  churches,  and  to  have  the  sanction  of  the  civil  authority  put 
upon  them." 


'  A  defence  of  the  petitioners  was  published  at  London  in  1647  by  J.  Child,  brother  of  the 
petitioner,  under  the  title  of  Nciu-Englands  Jofias  cast  up  at  London  :  or  a  Relation  of  the  Pro- 
ceedings 0/  the  Court  at  Boston  in  N.  E.  etc.,  in  which  much  complaint  is  made  of  pulpit  attacks 
upon  the  petitioners.  The  work  has  been  several  times  reprinted,  2  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  IV: 
107-120 ;  Force,  Tracts,  Washington,  1836-46,  IV  ;  and  with  prefatory  matter  by  W.  T.  R.  Marvin, 
Boston,  1869. 

^Winthrop,  II:  329.  3 //v'rt^. 


172  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

These  views,  Winthrop  tells  us,  were  chiefly  advanced  by  those 
"  who  came  lately  from  England,  where  such  a  vast  liberty  was 
allowed,  and  sought  for  by  all  that  went  under  the  name  of  Inde- 
pendents."' Their  advocates  were  able  to  quote  in  their  behalf 
not  only  such  stout  defenders  of  English  Congregationalism  as 
Goodwin,  Nye,  and  Burroughes,  but  a  positive  order  enjoining 
"  that  all  men  should  enjoy  their  liberty  of  conscience,"  issued  by 
the  Commissioners  for  Plantations,  a  board  recently  established 
by  Parliament,^  to  the  English  settlers  in  the  West  Indies  and  Ber- 
muda,—  an  order  which  the  Commissioners  had  sent  to  Massachu- 
setts in  the  softened  form  of  advice.  This  party  of  opposition  to 
the  Synod  embraced  some  thirty  or  forty  of  the  Boston  church. 

Here,  then,  was  material  for  a  serious  division,  the  more  so 
that  "some  of  the  points  raised  were  of  a  nature  exceedingly  diffi- 
cult to  answer.  The  first  objection,  for  instance,  was  based  on  the 
provision  of  the  Body  of  Liberties  of  1641,  that^  — 

"The  Elders  of  the  Churches  have  free  libertie  to  meete  monthly,  Quarterly,  or 
otherwise,  in  convenient  numbers  and  places,  for  conferences,  and  consultations  about 
Christian  and  Church  questions  and  occasions." 

But  the  majority  of  the  church,  of  whom  Winthrop  was  doubt- 
less the  leader,  had  a  ready  reply  to  all  the  criticisms.  That  to 
the  first  demurrer  is  perhaps  the  most  curious.  They  affirmed 
that  the  permission  to  ministers  to  meet  upon  their  own  motion,* 

"was  granted  only  for  a  help  in  case  of  extremity,  if,  in  time  to  come,  the  civil  au- 
thority should  either  grow  opposite  to  the  churches,  or  neglect  the  care  of  them,  and 
not  with  any  intent  to  practise  the  same,  while  the  civil  authority  were  nursing  fathers 
to  the  churches." 

It  was  further  urged,  as  an  answer  to  the  second  objection,  that  it 
was  really  no  concern  of  the  churches  ^ 


1  Ibid. 

2  The  Commissioners  for  Plantations  were  a  board  of  six  lords  and  twelve  commoners,  created 
by  Parliament  Nov.  2,  1643  ;  and  designed  to  exercise  whatever  authority  had  been  enjoyed  by  King 
Charles  over  these  plantations.  Among  the  commoners  was  Samuel  Vassall,  a  brother  of  the  New 
England  agitator,  William  Vassall,  —  a  fact  which  explains  something  of  the  confidence  with  which 
he  and  the  petitioners  proposed  to  appeal  to  English  authority,  and  the  dread  with  which  the  min- 
isters and  Court  regarded  his  schemes.     See  Palfrey,  1 :  633,  634. 

3  The  Body  of  Liberties  was  a  code  of  laws  drawn  up  chiefly  by  Rev.  Nathaniel  Ward  of 
Ipswich,  and  adopted  by  the  General  Court,  for  trial  and  approval  by  use,  in  December,  1641.  The 
code  may  be  found  in  J>  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  VIIT  :  igi-237.  See  also  Winthrop,  II:  66;  and 
Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History,  1 :  439,  440.     The  law  is  section  95,  clause  7. 

4  Winthrop,  II:  330.  ^  Ibid. 


RELUCTANCE    OF   THE    liOSTOX    CHURCH  1 73 

"to  inquire,  what  or  who  gave  the  court  occasion  to  call  the  synod,  ...  it  was 
the  churches'  duty  to  yield  it  to  them  [the  Court];  for  so  far  as  it  concerns  their  com- 
mand or  request  it  is  an  ordinance  of  man,  which  we  [the  churches]  are  to  submit 
unto  for  the  Lord's  sake,  without  troubling  ourselves  with  the  occasion  or  success." 

To  the  third  point  of  criticism  it  was  answered  that  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Court  did  not  forbid  the  Synod  to  submit  their  finding 
to  the  churches  for  approval  before  returning  it  to  the  Court,  and 
did  not  imply  that  the  Court  intended  to  make  it  penally  binding. 

But,  spite  of  these  reasonings,  the  objectors  were  not  con- 
vinced; and  after  two  Sabbaths  spent  in  vain  agitation,  the  jiastor 
and  teacher,  Wilson  and  Cotton,  "  told  the  congregation,  that  they 
thought  it  their  duty  to  go  notwithstanding,  not  as  sent  by  the 
church,  but  as  specially  called  by  the  order  of  the  court.'"  Mean- 
while the  Synod  had  met,  and  had  sent  an  urgent  appeal  to  the 
Boston  church  to  choose  delegates,  since  it  was  clear  to  the  Synod 
that  a  refusal  on  the  part  of  Boston  and  Salem  would  peril  the 
whole  enterprise.  On  the  reception  of  these  letters  the  ruling 
elders,  Thomas  Oliver  and  Thomas  Leverett,  hastily  summoned 
such  of  the  church  as  they  could  gather  on  Wednesday,  September 
2;  but  "nothing  could  be  done."^  On  the  following  day,  however, 
the  regular  Thursday  lecture  was  given,  and  thither  the  greater 
part  of  the  Synod  repaired.  It  is  probable  that  the  Boston  minis- 
ters felt  that,  under  the  circumstances,  a  stranger's  voice  would  be 
more  persuasive,  and  Rev.  John  Norton  of  Ipswich,  later  to  be 
teacher  of  the  Boston  church,  was  well  fitted  for  the  task.     He^ 

"took  his  text  suitable  to  the  occasion,  viz.,  of  iSIoses  and  Aaron  meeting  in  the 
mount  and  kissing  each  other,  wjiere  he  laid  down  the  nature  and  power  of  the  synod, 
as  only  consultative,  decisive,  and  declarative,  not  coactive,  etc.  He  showed  also  the 
power  of  the  civil  magistrate  in  calling  such  assemblies,  and  the  duty  of  the  churches 
in  yielding  obedience  to  the  same.  He  showed  also  the  great  offence  and  scandal 
which  would  be  given  in  refusing,  etc." 

Norton's  sermon  was  not  without  considerable  effect,  and 
when  the  question  was  next  brought  up  by  the  Boston  church,  on 
Sunday,  September  6,  the  matter  was  finally  put  to  vote  by  show 
of  hands.  The  majority  was  clearly  in  favor  of  representation  in 
the  Synod;  but  the  minority  objected  that  the  church  had  hitherto 

>  Il'id.  5  //./,/.,  331.  3  IHd. 


174  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

required  a  unanimous  vote  for  important  decisions.  The  force  of 
the  objection  was  felt;  but  the  majority  replied  that  the  case  was 
one  demanding  action,  unanimous  if  possible,  if  not,  the  majority 
must  act.  At  this  stage  of  proceedings  the  spirit  of  well  meant 
but  impracticable  compromise  took  hold  of  some  of  the  brethren, 
and  it  was  seriously  proposed  that,  instead  of  sending  delegates, 
the  church  should  attend  the  Synod  in  a  body.  Happily  good 
sense  prevailed,  and  ''  in  the  end  it  was  agreed  by  vote  of  the 
major  part,  that  the  elders  and  three  of  the  brethren  should  be 
sent  as  messengers.'"  The  absence  of  records  and  of  a  chronicler 
like  Winthrop  make  it  impossible  to  follow  the  course  of  the  dis- 
cussion in  the  Salem  church,  but  we  may  presume,  since  we  hear 
nothing  further  regarding  its  opposition  to  the  Synod,  that  argu- 
ments similar  to  those  used  at  Boston  overcame  its  reluctance. 
The  Synod,  therefore,  was  able  to  set  about  its  work  with  the 
moral  support  of  twenty-eight  of  the  twenty-nine  churches  in  the 
Massachusetts  Colony  (to  which  the  two  churches  of  New  Hamp- 
shire should  be  added,  that  province  being  then  under  the  protec- 
tion of  Massachusetts);  and  the  good-will,  together  with  a  few 
representatives,  of  the  twenty-two  churches  of  Plymouth,  Con- 
necticut, and  New  Haven. ^ 

Though  ready  for  deliberation  at  last,  a  variety  of  causes  pre- 
vented the  doing  of  much  of  importance  at  this  session  of  the 
Synod.  The  disputes  at  Boston  had  taken  a  number  of  days,  the 
season  was  late,'  and  "  few  of  the  elders  of  other  colonies  [than 


1  Ibid.,  332- 

2  Under  no  claim  of  infallibility  the  following  list  of  churches  in  the  four  confederate  colonies 
is  subjoined  —  the  dates  are  those  of  organization.  Massachusetts,  Salem,  1629,  Boston,  1630, 
Watertown,  1630,  Roxbury,  1632,  Lynn,  1632,  Charlestown,  1632,  Ipswich,  1634,  Newbury,  1635, 
Hingham,  1635,  Weymouth,  1635,  Cambridge,  1636,  Concord,  1636,  Dorchester,  1636,  Springfield,. 
1637,  Salisbury,  1638,  Dedham,  1638,  Quincy,  1639,  Rowley,  1639,  Sudbury,  1640,  Edgartown,  1641  ? 
Woburn,  1642,  Gloucester,  1642,  Hull,  1644,  Wenham,  1644,  Haverhill,  1645,  Andover,  1645,  Read- 
ing, 1645,  Topsfield,  1645,  Manchester,  1645.  {New  Hampshire,  Hampton,  1638,  Dover,  1638, 
Exeter,  163S,  was  dead.)  Plymouth,  Plymouth,  1602?  Duxbury,  1632,  Marshfield,  1632,  Scituate 
[London,  1616],  1634  (removed  to  Barnstable  1639),  Taunton,  1637,  Sandwich,  1638,  Yarmouth,  1639, 
Scituate  (new),  1639,  South  Scituate,  1642,  Rehoboth,  1644,  Eastham,  1646.  Connecticrit,  Windsor,. 
1630,  Hartford,  1633,  Wethersfield,  i636[4i]  ?  Saybrook,  i639[46]  ?  Fairfield,  i639[5o]  ?  Stratford, 
1640?  South  Hampton,  L.  I.  (under  Conn,  jurisdiction),  1640?  Netv  Haven,  New  Haven,  1639, 
Milford,  1639,  Stamford,  1641  ?  Guilford,  1643,  Branford,  1644  (from  South  Hampton,  L.  L).  The 
question  mark  indicates  doubt  as  to  date  of  organization.  See  Dexter,  Cong,  as  seen,  p.  412  ;  and 
Cong.  Quarterly,  IV:  269,  270  (July,  1862);  Clark,  Hist.  Sketch  0/  the  Cong.  Chs.  in  Mass.,  Bos- 
ton, 1S58  ;  Punchard,  Hist.  0/  Congregationalism,  W ,  passim. 

3  It  should  be  remembered  that  we  have  to  do  with  old  style  dates  —  the  day  of  meetin.g, 
therefore,  corresponded  with  the  modern  Sept.  11. 


THE    FIRST   SESSION,    1646  1 75 

Massachusetts]  were  present.'"  Yet  substantial  progress  was 
made.  A  committee  prepared  and  presented  a  paper  of  some 
length  on  the  much  debated  problems  regarding  the  power  of  the 
civil  magistrate  to  interfere  in  matters  of  religion,  the  nature  and 
powers  of  a  Synod,  and  the  right  of  the  magistrates  to  call  such 
assemblies. '■^  The  opinion  expressed  on  the  first  and  third  points 
was  strongly  affirmative,  while  a  Synod  was  declared  to  be,  as 
Norton  pictured  it  to  the  Boston  church,  an  advisory  rather  than 
a  judicial  body.  But  the  Synod  treated  the  report  with  great  cau- 
tion, it  "  being  distinctly  read  in  the  Assembly,  it  was  agreed  thus 
farre  onely.  That  they  should  be  commended  unto  more  serious 
consideration  against  the  next  Meeting."' 

A  yet  more  important  matter  was  the  appointment  by  the 
Synod  of  Rev.  Messrs.  John  Cotton  of  Boston,  Richard  Mather  of 
Dorchester,  and  Ralph  Partridge  of  Duxbury  in  Plymouth  Colony, 
each  to  prepare  a  "  model  of  church  government  "  for  submission 
to  the  assembly  at  its  next  session.''  And  so,  having  sat  "  but 
about  fourteen  days,"^  the  Synod  adjourned  to  the  eighth  of  June, 
1647. 

On  October  7th,  following  the  close  of  the  Synod,  the  General 
Court  met  once  more.  To  its  thinking  the  outlook  was  serious 
enough.  Samuel  Gorton,  who  had  successively  turmoiled  Massa- 
chusetts, Plymouth,  and  Rhode  Island,  and  had  received  severe 
treatment  in  all,  had  gone  to  England  with  tv.'o  followers,  Greene 
and  Holden,  in  1644,  and  laid  complaint  against  Massachusetts 
before  the  Commissioners  for  Plantations.     Holden  had  returned. 


1  Winthrop,  II :  332. 

^  Some  e.xtracts  from  this  Report  will  be  given  at  the  close  of  this  introduction.  It  cannot  be 
too  frequently  pointed  out  that  by  a  "  Synod  "  the  New  England  fathers  meant  what  is  now  known 
as  a  council. 

'Report  —  Result  0/  a  Synod  at  Cambridge  in  N.  E.  Anno  1646,  p.  i.  Hubbard,  Gen. 
I  fist.,  536,  537  ;  and  Mather,  who  follows  him,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  II :  210,  quote  a  single  passage 
from  this  report  and  imply  that  the  Synod  endorsed  it.  Such  was  not  the  case,  save  as  represented 
above.  The  statement  that  it  was  "  accompanied  with  a  discourse  of  Mr.  Tho.  Allen,  wherein  this 
doctrine  was  further  explained,"  is  also  erroneous.  Allen  wrote  a  simple  preface  to  this  tract  and 
two  others  which  he  bound  with  it.  On  the  joint  title-page  Allen  attributed  its  authorship  to  John 
Cotton,  but  a  careful  reading  of  the  preface  fails  to  give  certainty  to  this  conjecture. 

*  Magnalia,6A.  1853-5,  II:  211.  Mather  is  doubtless  correct  in  this  statement.  His  grand- 
fathers were  two  of  the  three  designated,  and  the  draft  by  Ralph  Partridge  still  e.xists  m  the 
manuscript  collections  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society  at  Worcester. 

^Winthrop,  II:  332. 


\y6  THE    CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

arriving  at  Boston  in  September,  1646,  armed  with  orders  from  the 
Commissioners  directing  that  free  passage  should  be  granted  to 
the  three  complainants  through  Massachusetts  to  Narragansett 
Bay/  and  not  obscurely  intimating  that  an  answer  to  the  charges 
was  expected  from  the  Massachusetts  government. '^  The  situa- 
tion was  most  embarrassing.  To  refuse  to  honor  the  orders  of 
the  Commissioners  would  mean  a  breach  with  the  home  govern- 
ment, but  to  admit  their  authority  would  be  practically  to  abandon 
the  local  autonomy  of  the  colonial  government.  It  was  clear,  too, 
that  Dr.  Child  and  his  fellow  petitioners  were  alive  to  the  fact 
that  their  prayer  was  to  meet  no  favoring  response  in  Massa- 
chusetts, and  were  about  to  carry  out  their  threat  and  take  the 
case  before  the  Commissioners.  If  the  authority  of  that  board 
was  admitted  by  the  colonial  government  in  one  matter,  what  was 
to  prevent  the  imposition  by  the  Commissioners  of  all  the  changes 
desired  by  Vassall  or  Child?  On  Holden's  coming  the  magistrates 
in  Boston  had  consulted  the  ministers  who  happened  to  be  in  the 
town  for  the  Thursday  lecture,  and  they  had  decided,  on  the  whole, 
to  allow  Holden  free  passage,  without  raising  the  question  of  the 
validity  of  his  documents.^  But  it  was  impossible  to  temporize 
much  longer.  The  court,  therefore,  at  its  October  meeting  took 
prompt  steps.     A  committee  of  four  was  appointed  to^ 

"examine  all  the  answ"  y'  are  brought  into  this  Co''te  to  y*  petition  of  Docto''  Child 
&  M''  Fowle,  etc,  &  out  of  all  to  draw  up  such  an  answ""  thereto  as  they  thinke  most 
meete,  &  p'sent  y^  same  to  this  Co''te,  &  furth""  to  tteate  w**"  M''  Winslow,*  &  to  agree 
w""  him  as  an  agent  for  us,  to  answer  to  what  shalbe  obiected  against  us  in  England." 

Pending  the  labors  of  this  committee  the  Court  adjourned  till 
November  4,  following. 

On  its  reassembling  the  Court  adopted  a  most  remarkable 
document,  doubtless  the  work  of  the  committee  as  authors  or  re- 
visers.    In  a  "  Declaration."  ''  intended  evidently  for  effect  in  Eng- 


'  To  follow  the  story  of  these  men,  Antinomians  whom  the  age  hardly  knew  how  to  deal  with, 
is  aside  from  our  purpose.  Among  many  sources  of  information  I  may  cite  Winthrop,  passim : 
Hutchinson,  Hist.  .  .  .  Mass.  Bay,  I:  117-124;  Allen,  Biografihical  Diet.,  Boston,  1857,  pp. 
390,  391  ;  Palfrey,  Hist.  N.  E.,  II:  116-140,  205-220. 

2  Winthrop,  II:  333,  342-344.  3  //,;V.,  334. 

^Records     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  \\:   162.  ^  gd^vard  Winslow,  the  Plymouth  pilgrim. 

'  The  text  may  be  found  in  Hutchinson,  Collection  :  106-218. 


CONTINUED    OPPOSITION    IN    THE    COLONY  1 77 

land,  they  opposed  the  petition  of  Child  and  his  associates,  and 
justified  the  form  and  methods  of  the  Massachusetts  government. 
In  parallel  columns  they  placed  the  main  provisions  of  the  i/iai:^iia 
charta  and  English  common  law  and  the  answering  enactments  of 
the  charter,  liberties  and  laws  of  Massachusetts.  They  denied  that 
taxation  had  been  unfair  or  burdensome,  they  claimed  that  the 
petitioners  did  not  really  represent  the  unenfranchised,'  that  ad- 
mission to  the  church  and  its  ordinances  was  readily  attained  by 
all  who  were  fit,'*  while  the  right  of  baptism  of  their  children  was 
at  that  moment  under  discussion  by  the  Synod.'' 

Before  their  agent  should  go  to  England,  however,  it  seemed  to 
the  Court  that  some  understanding  as  to  the  extent  of  their  claims 
to  local  autonomy  should  be  reached  ;  and,  therefore,  "  such  of  the 
elders  as  could  be  had  were  sent  for,  to  have  their  advice  in  the 
matter."  ^  After  much  discussion  it  was  the  conclusion  of  both  min- 
isters and  magistrates  that,  though  the  Colony  owed  allegiance  to 
the  English  authorities,  its  powers  of  self-government  were  so  great 
that  no  appeals  from  its  proceedings  could  be  allowed.^     These 


1  "  These  remonstrants  would  be  thought  to  be  a  representative  part  of  all  the  non-free- 
men in  the  countrie  ;  but  when  we  have  pulled  off  theire  vizards,  we  find  them  no  other  but 
Robert  Child,  Thomas  Fowle,  &c.  For  first,  although  their  petition  was  received  with  all  gentle- 
nes,  yet  we  heare  of  no  other  partners  that  have  appeared  in  it,  though  it  be  four  months  since  it 
was  presented.  .  .  .  These  [/.  ?.,  the  non-petitioning]  non-freemen  also  are  well  satisfyed  (as  we 
conceive)  and  doe  blesse  God  for  the  blessings  and  pri\-i!edges  they  doe  enjoy  under  this  government. 
They  think  it  is  well,  that  justice  is  equally  administred  to  them  with  the  freemen  ;  that  they  have 
equall  share  with  them  in  all  towne  lotts,  commons,  &c.,  that  they  have  like  libertie  of  accesse  to 
the  church  assemblies,  and  like  place  and  respect  there,  according  to  theire  qualities  .  .  .  as  also 
like  freedome  of  trade  and  commerce."     Ibid.,  210,  211. 

*"  These  remonstrants  are  now  come  to  the  church  doore.  .  .  .  They  tell  us,  '  that  divers 
sober,  righteous,  and  godly  men  .  .  .  are  detained  from  the  scales,  because  .  .  .  they  will 
not  take  these  churches  covenant.'  The  petitioners  are  sure  mistaken  or  misrepresent  the  matter; 
for  the  true  reasons  why  many  persons  in  the  country  are  not  admitted  to  the  seales  are  these : 
First,  many  are  fraudulous  in  theire  conversation  ;  or  2dly,  notoriously  corrupt  in  their  opinions  ;  or 
3dly,  grossly  ignorant  in  the  principles  of  religion  ;  or  4thly,  if  any  have  such  knowledge  and  gifts, 
yet  they  doe  not  manifest  the  same  by  any  puljlick  profession  before  the  church  or  before  the 
elders,  and  so  it  is  not  knowne  that  they  are  thus  qualified.  .  .  .  The  truth  is,  we  account  all 
our  countrymen  brethren  by  nation,  and  such  as  in  charity  we  may  judge  to  be  beleevers  are  ac- 
counted also  brethren  in  Christ.  If  they  [the  petitioners]  be  not  publickly  so  called  (especially  in 
the  church  assemblies)  it  is  not  for  want  of  due  respect  or  good  will  towards  them,  but  only  for  dis- 
tinction sake,  to  putt  a  difference  betweene  those  that  doe  communicate  together  at  the  Lords  table, 
and  those  who  doe  not."     Ibid.,  213,  214,  217. 

3  "  Concerning  the  baptisme  of  the  children  of  such  as  are  not  members  of  our  churches,  there 
is  an  assembly  of  the  elders  now  in  being,  and  therefore  we  think  fitt  to  deferr  any  resolution  about 
that  and  some  other  pointes  concerning  the  church  discipline,  untill  we  shall  understand  theire  con- 
clusion therein,  for  further  light  in  these  things."     Ihid.y  217. 

■•  Winthrop,  II:  340. 

^  Ihid.y  341,  345.     John  ."Mlin,  of  Dedham,  was  the  spokesman  of  the  minisurs. 


178  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

points  being  settled,  and  the  ministers'  views  regarding  the  petition 
of  Child  and  his  associates  having  been  heard,  the  Court  now  pro- 
ceeded to  deal  with  the  petitioners  without  ministerial  advice.'  Two 
of  their  number,  Fowle  and  Smith,  were  arrested,  the  former  as  he 
was  about  to  set  sail  for  England,  and  informed  that  the  Court  held 
them  to  account  for  the  allegations  of  the  petition.^  This  brought 
all  the  petitioners  except  Maverick  into  Court,  and  a  scene  fol- 
lowed in  which  much  heated  speech  was  indulged  on  both  sides  ; 
and  ending  in  an  announcement  by  Child  of  appeal  to  the  Commis- 
sioners, and  a  declaration  by  Winthrop  that  no  appeal  would  be 
admitted.^  A  committee  of  the  Court  then  drew  up  a  list  of  some 
twelve  particulars  in  which  they  declared  the  statements  of  the 
petition  false  and  scandalous  ;  ^  to  which  the  petitioners  replied 
seriatim,  and  the  Court  rejoined  "  extempore."  "  But  through  all 
this  cloud  of  charge  and  countercharge  it  is  easy  to  see  that  the 
real  question  in  the  minds  of  the  Court  was  that  which  Massachu- 
setts was  to  champion  for  all  America  a  century  and  a  quarter  later, 
whether  New  England  affairs  were  to  be  controlled  by  New  Eng- 
land men,  or  by  the  will  of  Parliament.  This  local  independence 
Child  denied.  The  Court  as  stoutly  affirmed  it.*^  And  in  this  reso- 
lution of  the  Court  lay  the  future  not  only  of  the  New  England 
churches,  but  of  New  England  liberty.  Yet  while  we  cannot  but 
rejoice  that  the  Court  took  this  attitude,  its  own  course  of  action 
was  arbitrary  enough  ;  and  it  is  with  a  feeling  of  regret  that  we 
learn  that  it  proceeded  to  fine  Child  fifty  pounds,  Smith  forty, 
Maverick  ten,  and  the  rest  thirty  each  ; '  and  that  when,  about  a 
week  later.  Child  attempted  to  go  to  England  to  prosecute  his 
appeal,  he  was  arrested,  and  Band's  study  forcibly  entered  and 
searched.  Here  papers  were  found,  designed  for  presentation  to 
the  Commissioners,  setting  forth  the  character  and  conduct  of  the 


1  Ibid.^  346,  347. 

2  Ibid.     See  also  Records.,  Ill  ;  88,  89.     The  petitioners  we-e  all  summoned  by  the  Court. 

s  Ibid.  The  petitioners  were  informed  that  they  were  arraigned  not  for  petitioning  but  for  the 
false  statements  of  the  petition. 

■•  Ibid.,  348-350.     Records     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  III:  90,  91.  ^  Winthrop,  II:  350-354. 

"  Ibid.,  354-355.  "  His  [Child's]  argument  was  this,  every  corporation  of  England  is  subject 
to  the  laws  of  England  ;  but  this  was  a  corporation  of  England,  ergo,  etc." 

'  Ibid.,  355  ;  Records,  III  .  94.     Fowle  was  "  then  at  sea." 


WINSLOW'S    MISSION   TO    ENGLAM;  I79 

Massachusetts  government  in  no  favorable  light,  questioning 
whether  the  talk  of  the  ministers  and  magistrates  in  the  Colony  did 
not  amount  to  high  treason,  and  whether  the  patent  might  not  be 
forfeited  ;  and  also  praying  that  a  governor  or  commissioner  should 
be  appointed  to  rule  the  Colony,  and  that  Presbyterian  churches  be 
established.'  For  this  presentation  and  request,  which  struck  at 
the  foundations  of  church  and  state  in  the  Colony,  three  of  the 
petitioners  were  committed.  But  though  the  Court  might  imprison, 
the  case  was  sure  of  a  hearing  in  England  for,  before  the  close  of 
1646,  Fowle  and  Vassall  set  sail.  Those  petitioners  who  were  still 
in  the  Massachusetts  jurisdiction.  Child,  Smith,  Burton,  Dand, 
and  Maverick,  were  all  condemned  by  the  Court  in  May,  1647,  to 
fines  of  one  and  two  hundred  pounds  each.-  Dand  made  his  sub- 
mission to  the  Court  and  was  released  without  payment  in  May^ 
1648.^  Maverick  secured  an  abatement  of  one-half  in  1650  when 
the  matter  had  somewhat  quieted,^  but  Child  was  in  England  by 
October,  1647,  still  a  considerable  debtor  to  the  Colony.^ 

In  the  meanwhile  Gov.  Edward  Winslow,  of  Plymouth,  had 
sailed  for  England  in  December,  1646,"  as  the  duly  accredited 
agent  of  the  Colony,'  provided  with  a  formal  answer  to  the  charges 
of  Gorton  for  presentation  to  the  Commissioners,"  and  a  variety 
of  secret  instructions  as  to  how  to  meet  the  questions  raised  by 
Child  and  his  friends."  His  position  was  at  first  anything  but 
easy.  The  brother  of  Vassall,  the  New  England  malcontent,  was 
one  of  the  Commissioners  ;  the  brother  of  Child  was  an  active 
and  able  opponent  of  the  Massachusetts  government,  and  some  of 
the  petitioners  had  come  over  to  push  their  own  cause.  But  Wins- 
low  went  to  work  with  vigor;  in  a  few  weeks  after  his  landing, 
and  pending  the  decision  of  the  Commissioners,  he  published  a 
sharp    attack  upon    Gorton  and    his  followers,'"  and    not  without 


'  Winthrop,  II :  356-358  ;  Hutchinson, ///j/ l/a^j.  i>rtj',  ed.  London,  1765,  I  :  146-149. 

2  Records,  III  :  113.  Maverick  was  fined  £s°  '"  addition,  since  he  was  a  freeman,  making  a 
total  for  him  of  .£150. 

3  AVrf.,  II :  241.  *  Ibid.,  Ill :  200.  5  //./a'.,  H  ;  199.  «  Winthrop,  II :  387. 

'  /^/rf.,  364,  365  ;  Records,  111:93,  94-  The  Court  considered  Winslow's  mission  of  such 
general  interest  that  letters  were  sent  to  Plymouth,  Connecticut,  and  New  Haven  asking  them  to 
share  in  the  expense.     Records,  II :  165. 

"  Winthrop,  II :  360-364  ;  Records,  III  :  95-98.  *  Winthrop,  II  :  365-367. 

"•  Hypocrisie  Vnmasked :  by  A  True  Relation  0/  the  Proceedings  0/ the  Goz'ernour  and 
Company  0/ the  Massachtisets  against  Sainvel  Gorton,  etc.,  London,  1646  [in  new  style,  1647]. 


l80  THE    CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

decided  effect.  In  a  similar  way  he  replied,  during  the  course 
of  1647,  to  the  defence  of  the  petitioners  published  by  Child's 
brother  in  that  year.'  Yet  it  may  well  be  questioned  whether 
these  efforts  would  have  availed  to  save  the  Massachusetts  gov- 
ernment from  serious  defeat  and  the  churches  from  dreaded  in- 
terference had  not  an  entire  change  come  over  the  political  sit- 
uation in  England.  In  1645  and  1646,  when  Vassall  and  Child 
began  their  agitation,  the  Presbyterians  were  in  the  ascendant. 
But  the  influence  of  the  army  was  constantly  growing  —  an  army 
which  was  predominantly  Independent  ;  and  wuth  the  Independ- 
ents the  New  Englanders  were  held  in  high  esteem.  Just  before 
Winslow  reached  England  the  king  had  been  surrendered  to  Par- 
liament by  the  Scotch.  It  was  a  great  Presbyterian  triumph  ; 
that  party  seemingly  secure  in  control  of  Parliament,  appeared 
free  to  carry  out  whatever  policy  it  wished.  But  the  Presbyteri- 
ans had  scarcely  begun  to  enjoy  their  apparent  supremacy,  when 
the  scale  turned  against  them.  In  March,  1647,  just  as  Winslow's 
first  pamphlet  was  appearing,  Parliament  tried  to  disband  the 
army.  The  army  refused  to  obey,  and  demanded  arrears  of  pay. 
And,  in  June,  1647,  it  obtained  possession  of  the  person  of  the 
king  by  force.  The  same  month  the  army  compelled  eleven  prom- 
inent Presbyterians  to  leave  Parliament,  and  the  Independents 
came  into  power.  Presbyterian  London  asserted  itself  in  July, 
but  was  soon  overawed.  Presbyterianism  as  a  political  force  had 
lost  the  day  ;  by  the  dawn  of  1648  its  great  defenders,  the  Scotch, 
were  openly  on  the  side  of  the  king.  Their  defeat  by  Cromwell 
at  Preston,  August  17,  1648,  put  an  end  to  any  hope  of  their 
return  to  power  till  after  Cromwell's  death.  The  effect  on  the 
New  England  cause  of  these  sudden  overturnings  was  apparent 
at  once.  In  May,  1647,  the  Commissioners  saw  their  way  clear 
to  inform  the  Massachusetts  authorities  that  they  had  neither  in- 
tended to  encourage  appeals  from  colonial  justice,  nor  limit  colo- 
nial jurisdiction  by  anything  that  had  been  done  in  the  Gorton 
case."     By  July  the  Commission   was  satisfied  to  leave  the  ques- 

'  Child's  book  was,  Ncw-Englands  Jonns  cast  up  at  London,  London,  1647  (see  ante,  p.  17T, 
■note  i);  that  by  Winslow,  New-Englaizds  Salamander,  etc.,  London,  1647.  (Reprinted  in  3 
Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  II  :  110-145). 

^  Winthrop,  II  :  389,  390. 


EFFECT   OF   ITS   SUCCESS   ON   THE   SYxXOD  I  Si 

tion  of  jurisdiction  over  the  lands  of  the  Gortonites  to  the  New 
England  colonial  governments.'  Nor  was  Winslow  less  success- 
ful against  Child  and  his  associates.  The  ships  which  arrived  at 
Boston  in  May,  1648,  informed  the  magistrates  "how  the  hopes 
and  endeavors  of  Dr.  Child  and  other  the  petitioners,  etc.,  had 
been  blasted  by  the  special  providence  of  the  Lord,  who  still 
wrought  for  us."^ 

This  long  negotiation  formed  the  political  background  of  the 
Cambridge  Synod.  Its  perilous  course  was  watched  with  anxiety, 
and  when  it  was  clear,  by  the  autumn  of  1647,  that  the  existing 
institutions  of  New  England  were  not  to  be  disturbed,  the  relief 
was  proportionately  great.  It  produced  one  change  of  import- 
ance, however,  in  the  work  of  the  Synod.  The  prime  questions 
propounded  by  the  General  Court  had  been  those  of  baptism  and 
church  membership.  These  problems  had  been  forced  to  the 
fore-front  by  the  movement  which  had  given  rise  to  the  petition. 
But  they  were  questions  regarding  which  there  was  much  divers- 
ity of  view,  and  therefore  the  Synod  chose  to  pass  them  by,  when 
they  ceased  to  be  pressing  by  reason  of  the  defeat  of  the  peti- 
tioners; and  gave  instead  a  merely  subsidiary  and  somewhat  am- 
biguous treatment  to  the  topics  which  the  Court  had  made  chief.^ 
No  doubt  most  men  in  New  England  were  glad  to  have  it  so  at 
the  time,  yet  the  questions  were  such  as  could  not  be  ignored, 
and  half  a  generation  later  they  demanded  and  obtained  a  solu- 
tion. But  it  was  fortunate  indeed  that  the  discomfort  of  their 
enemies  gave  the  representatives  of  the  New  England  churches 
opportunity  to  work  out  the  declaration  of  their  polity  in  peace. 


1  Ibid.^  387,  388.  2  Jlfid.,  391,  392. 

3  The  Preface  to  the  Result  of  the  Cynod  of  1662,  Propositions  Conccrtiing  the  Subject 
of  Baptism^  etc.,  Cambridge,  1662,  p.  xii,  says:  "■  Anti  in  the  Synod  held  at  Cambridge  in  the 
year  1648,  that  partictilar  point  0/  Baptizing  the  children  of  such  as  ivere  admitted  members 
in  minority,  bitt  not  yet  in  full  communion,  was  inserted  in  some  of  the  draughts  that  were 
prepared  for  that  Assembly,  andiuas  then  debated  and  confirmed  by  the  like  Arguments  as 
■we  no7v  use,  and  "was  generally  consented  to  :  though  because  some  few  dissented,  and  there 
was  not  the  like  urgency  of  occasion  for  present  practise,  it  was  not  then  put  itito  the  Plat- 
form that  was  after  Printed."     (See  later  page  of  this  work.) 

Allin,  in  his  A  nimadversions  upon  the  Antisynodalia  Americana,  Cambridge,  1664,  p.  5, 
is  more  definite.  He  uses  language  which  implies  that  Charles  Chauncy  of  Scituate,  later  presi- 
dent of  Harvard,  was  the  opponent :  "  When  this  matter  was  under  Consideration  in  the  Synod, 
1648,  the  Author  of  this  Preface  [Chauncy]  knoweth  well  who  it  was  that  professed.  He  would  op- 
pose it  with  all  his  might:  by  reason  whereof,  and  the  dissent  of  some  few  more,  it  was  laid 
aside  at  that  time."  For  the  statement  in  the  draft  submitted  by  Mather  to  the  Synod,  see 
post,  p.  724. 


l82  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM. 

The  Synod  which  had  adjourned  in  mid-September,  1646, 
re-assembled  at  Cambridge,  on  June  8,  1647.  The  attendance  em- 
braced men  as  far  removed  in  residence  from  the  place  of  meet- 
ing as  Gov.  Bradford  of  Plymouth,  and  Rev.  Messrs.  Stone  of 
Hartford,  and  Warham  of  Windsor.  On  June  9,  the  Synod  listened 
in  the  morning  to  a  denunciatory  sermon  from  Rev.  Ezekiel  Rogers 
of  Rowley,  in  which  the  preacher  inveighed  against  the  late  pe- 
titioners, and  attacked  the  growing  habit  of  the  brethren  in 
the  churches  "  making  speeches  in  the  church  assemblies,"  and 
found  fault  with  various  customs,  such  as  the  wearing  of  long 
hair.  "  Divers  were  offended  at  his  zeal  in  some  of  these  pass- 
ages;" and  doubtless  the  pleasure  of  the  Synod  was  greater,  if 
their  comprehension  of  the  sermon  was  less,  when  "  Mr.  [John] 
Eliot  preached  to  the  Indians  in  their  own  language  before  all 
the  assembly,"  in  the  afternoon.'  But  the  session  did  not  long 
continue.  An  epidemic,  which  cost  Hartford  Thomas  Hooker, 
and  Boston  Gov.  Winthrop's  wife,  compelled  it  to  break  up  be- 
fore it  had  accomplished  much  of  moment. ° 

As  the  Synod  went  on  the  conception  of  its  possible  functions 
magnified.  The  original  thought  of  the  Court  had  been  a  settle- 
ment of  church  polity,  with  special  attention  to  the  disputed 
questions  of  baptism  and  church  membership.  Circumstances 
had  made  those  questions  less  pressing,  and  had  brought  into 
greater  prominence  the  broader  function  of  the  Synod,  that  of 
giving  a  constitution  to  the  churches.  But  it  might  do  even 
more.  The  Westminster  Assembly  had  prepared  a  Confession 
of  Faith  in  regard  to  which  much  secrecy  was  still  observed.^  It 
had  not  yet  been  adopted  by  Parliament,  though  approved  Au- 
gust 27,  1647,  by  the  Scotch  General  Assembly.  There  was  rea- 
son to  fear  that  it  might  not  be  wholly  satisfactory.  And  there- 
fore, at   its  session  on  October  27,  1647,  the  Massachusetts  Gen- 


1  Our  account  of  this  session  is  in  Winthrop,  II  :  376.  "  Ibid.,  378,  379. 

3  The  Confession  was  finished  Dec.  4,  1646,  and  presented  to  Parliament.  That  body  at  once 
ordered  that  "  600  copies,  and  no  more  be  printed,"  and  the  printer  was  directed  not  to  make  any 
public.  Matters  then  dragged  on  till  April,  1647,  when  the  Commons  ordered  proof  texts  furnished. 
This  was  done  and  the  result  printed  under  the  same  charge  of  secrecy.  Discussion  continued  till 
the  Confession,  in  slightly  modified  form,  was  adopted,  June  20,  1648.  See  Schaff,  Creeds,  I  :  757, 
758  ;  Dexter,  Cong,  as  see7i,  Bibliog.,  Nos.  1287,  1305. 


THE    SECOND    AND    THIRD    SESSIONS,    1647-8  183 

eral  Court  added  to   the  duties  of  the  Synod  that  of  preparing  a 

Confession  of  Faith,  by  the  following  order  : ' 

"Whereas  there  is  a  synode  in  being,  &  it  is  y«  purpose,  beside  y"  clearing  of 
some  points  in  religion  questioned,'  to  set  forth  a  forme  of  church  govern',  accords  to 
y'  ord''  of  y"  gospel!,  &  to  that  end  there  are  certeine  members  of  y-' synode  that  have  in 
charge  to  prepare  y'^  same  against  the  synode;  ^  but  this  Co''te  conceiving  that  it  is  as 
fully  meete  to  set  fourth  a  confession  of  y"  faith  we  do  p'fesse  touching  y"  doctrinall 
pt  of  religion  also,  we  do  desire,  therefore,  these  rev''end  eld''s  following  to  take  some 
paines  each  of  them  to  p'pare  a  breife  forme  of  this  nature,  &  p'sent  y«  same  to  y' 
next  session  of  y*  synode,  that,  agreeing  to  one,  (out  of  them  all,)  it  may  be  printed 
w"' the  oth'^  M''  Norrice,*  M''  Cotton,^  M''  Madder,''  M''  Rogers,  of  Ipswich,*  M"' 
Sheopard,'  W  Norton,"'  &  M'  Cobbet." 

Doubtless  the  matter  was  taken  into  consideration;  but  before 
the  Synod  again  met  copies  of  the  Westminster  Confession  had 
been  received  and  the  nature  of  that  symbol  had  become  fully 
known.  The  Court's  order  regarding  a  Confession  was  obeyed, 
as  will  be  seen,  but  in  a  somewhat  different  way  from  that  which 
the  Court  suggested. 

The  final  session  of  the  Synod  opened  at  Cambridge  on  Au- 
gust 15,  1648  ;'■  and,  as  at  the  previous  meeting,  the  body  began  its 
work  by  listening  to  a  sermon.  This  time  the  preacher  was  John 
Allin  of  Dedham,  and  the  theme  an  exposition  of  the  teaching  of 
the  fifteenth  chapter  of  Acis  in  regard  to  the  nature  and  power  of 
Synods,  a  treatment  which  led  the  divine  to  expose  and  rebuke  a 
number  of  errors  which  had  appeared  affecting  this  subject  during 
the  late  discussions  throughout  the  Colony.  The  sermon  was 
"very  godly,  learned,  and  particular";'"  yet  it  may  be  questioned 
whether  it  awakened  as  decided  an  interest  in  the  congregation  as 
did  a  snake  that  wriggled  into  the  elder's  seat,  behind  the  preacher, 
during  its  delivery.  And  when  Rev.  >Villiam  Tompson  of  Braintree 
had  effected  the  reptile's  death,  the  members  of  the  Synod,  like  all 
their  generation,  eager  to  discover  signs  and  divine  interposition"^ 
in  the  occurrences  of  life,  felt  that'^ 

"it  is  out  of  doubt,  the  Lord  discovered  somewhat  of  his  mind  in  it.     The  serpent," 
so  they  interpreted  the  imagined  symbolism,  "  is  the  devil ;  the  synod,  the  represent- 


"^  Records,    .     .     .    .^fitss.  Baj\  U -.200.  2 /.  ^..^  Baptism  and  church  membership. 
'  /.  e.,  Rev.  Messrs.  Cotton,  Mather,  and  Partridge;  see  an/e,  p.  175. 

*  /.  e.,  with  the  Platform  of  government.  ^  Edward  Norris,  of  Salem. 

•  John  Cotton,  of  Boston.  '  Richard  Mather,  of  Dorchester. 
8  Nathaniel  Rogers.  »  Thomas  Shepard,  of  Cambridge. 
10  John  Norton,  of  Ipswich,  later  of  Boston.  •'  Thomas  Cobbett,  of  Lynn. 

i«  Winthrop,  II :  402,  403.  '3  Il'ici.  '•■  /H'i. 


1 84  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORxM 

atives  of  the  churches  of  Christ  in  New  England.  The  devil  had  formerly  and  lately 
attempted  their  disturbance  and  dissolution  ;  but  their  faith  in  the  seed  of  the  woman 
overcame  him  and  crushed  his  head." 

The  Synod  went  on  harmoniously  and  rapidly  with  its  work. 
The  Platform  of  Church  Discipline,  drawn  up  by  Richard  Mather' 
of  Dorchester,  with  large  use  of  previous  writings  of  his.  own  and 
of  Cotton,  was  preferred  as  the  basis  of  the  Synod's  ecclesiastical 
constitution,  and  substantially  adopted.'  To  it  was  prefixed  a 
Preface  by  Rev.  John  Cotton  of  Boston,'  designed  to  explain  some 


'  Magnaiia,  ed.  1853-5,  I  '■  453-  Richard  Mather,  the  first  of  a  distinguished  New  England 
family,  was  born  at  Lowton,  Lancashire,  in  1596.  He  studied  at  O-xford  for  a  brief  time,  and  then 
was  asked  to  settle  as  minister  of  the  Puritan  congregation  at  Toxteth  Park,  near  Liverpool,  where 
he  had  already  taught  school.  He  was  ordained  by  the  bishop  of  Chester  in  1620,  but  his  Puritan- 
ism was  so  pronounced  that  he  was  silenced  in  1633  and  1634,  having  never  worn  the  surplice. 
Obliged  thus  to  relinquish  his  ministry  at  Toxteth,  he  came  to  New  England  in  1635.  He  was 
settled  at  Dorchester  in  1636,  and  was  from  the  first  prominent  in  the  affairs  of  the  Colony.  His 
answer  to  the  XXXII  Questions  has  already  been  noticed.  He  replied  to  the  Presbyterian  treatises 
of  Herle  and  Rutherford  ;  and,  at  a  later  period,  took  an  active  part  in  the  half-way  covenant  con- 
troversy. He  died  at  Dorchester,  April  22,  1669.  Of  his  sons,  the  youngest.  Increase,  was  the 
most  famous,  and  Increase's  son.  Cotton,  kept  the  family  name  in  prominence. 

Only  a  few  of  the  biographical  sources  need  be  mentioned.  Increase  Mather,  Liye  of 
Richard  Mather  (zf>-]o)^\n  Coll.  Dorchester  Antiquarian  Soc,  Boston,  1850;  Magiialia,  I  :  443- 
458;  Allen,  A7n.  Biog.  Diet..,  ed.  1857,  pp.  555,  556;  Sprague,  Annals  Am.  Pulpit,  I:  75-79;  Ap- 
pleton's  Cyclop.  Am,  Biog.,  IV  :  251  ;  H.  E.  Mather,  Lineage  0/  Rev.  Richard  Mather,  Hartford, 
1S90,  pp.  33-51  (with  portrait).     Mather's  works  are  enumerated  by  Sprague  and  H.  E.  Mather. 

2  Valuable  extracts  from  Partridge's  draft,  not  adopted  by  the  Synod,  may  be  found  in  De.x- 
ter,  Cong,  as  seen,  pp.  444-447.  He  would  not  have  given  so  much  authority  to  the  magistrates  in 
matters  of  belief  as  the  Synod  did.  Mather's  first  draft,  which  like  that  of  Partridge  is  in  the 
possession  of  the  Am.  Antiquarian  Soc.  at  Worcester,  a  little  more  than  twice  as  long  as  the  form 
finally  adopted,  and  was  not  only  abridged,  but  a  good  deal  modified  by  the  Synod.  The  final 
form,  also  at  Worcester,  is  in  Mather's  handwriting. 

3  See  Increase  Mather,  Order  of  the  Gospel,  Professed  and  Practised  by  the  Churches  of 
Christ  in  New  Etigland,  etc.,  Boston,  1700,  p.  137.  John  Cotton,  who  might  contest  with  Hooker 
the  claim  to  rank  as  the  ablest  of  the  New  England  ministry,  was  born  at  Derby,  Eng.,  Dec.  4,  1585. 
He  was  educated  at  Cambridge,  entering  Trinity  College  about  159S,  and  graduating  A.M.  in  1606. 
He  became  a  fellow  of  Emmanual  College,  then  the  Puritan  center,  and  later  served  as  head  lecturer, 
dean,  and  catechist.  He  became  religiously  awakened,  and  inclined  toward  Puritanism  ;  and  about 
i6i2  was  made  minister  of  the  fine  old  church  of  St.  Botolph,  at  Boston  in  Lincolnshire.  Here  he 
remained  for  twenty  years,  in  spite  of  one  suspension  for  Puritanism.  His  work  was  laborious,  but 
eminently  successful.  Beside  his  regular  Sunday  sermons  and  his  exposition  of  "  the  body  of  divin- 
ity in  a  catechetical  way  "  on  Sunday  afternoons,  he  preached  four  times  in  the  week,  and  conducted 
a  kind  of  theological  seminary  in  his  own  home.  Attracting  the  attention  of  Laud,  he  escaped  seri- 
ous consequences  by  flight,  and  arrived  at  the  New  England  Boston  in  September,  1633.  Here  he 
immediately  became  teacher  of  the  Boston  church.  He  was  the  ecclesiastical  leader  of  the  Massa- 
chusetts colony,  a  part  of  about  all  that  was  done  in  church  or  state  till  his  death  at  Boston,  Dec. 
23,  1652.  His  works  were  very  numerous,  and  embrace  doctrinal,  devotional,  ecclesiastical,  and  con- 
troversial treatises.  His  Keyes  of  t lie  Kingdom  of  Heaven,  London,  1644,  has  always  been  con- 
sidered one  of  the  most  authoritative  expositions  of  Congregationalism. 

Cotton's  life  has  been  frequently  treated.  The  earliest  sketch  is  that  of  Rev.  Samuel  Whit- 
ing of  Lynn,  Young,  Chron.  .  .  .  Mass.,  4Lg-^^o;  his  successor,  John  Norton,  published  his 
life,  Aid  being  Dead  yet  speaketh  :  or  the  Life  &=  Death  of  .  .  .  Cotton,  London,  1658,  re- 
printed Boston,  1834.  See  also  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  1 :  252-286  ;  A.  W.  M'CIure,  Life  of 
John  Cotton,  Boston,  1846  (1870);  Allen,  Diet.  A  in.  Biog.,  ed.  1857,  265-268  ;  Sprague,  A  nnals  A  m. 
Pulpit,  I:  25-30;  J.  S.  Clark,  in  Cong.  Quarterly,  III:  133-148  (April,  1861,  with  portrait);  other 
references  may  be  found  in  a  note  by  Justin  Winsor  to  Memorial  History  of  Boston,  1 :  157,  158. 
A  list  of  Cotton's  writings  is  given  by  Allen  and  Clark. 


CHARACTER  OF  THE  rLATFORM  1 85 

features  of  New  England  church  practices  and  to  combat  the 
charge  frequently  made  by  the  Presbyterian  party  in  England,  as 
well  as  by  the  Episcopalians,  that  the  churches  of  New  England 
were  of  doubtful  orthodoxy.  And  we  may  be  sure  that  it  was  with 
especial  pleasure,  in  view  of  the  allegations  of  doctrinal  unsound- 
ness brought  against  them  by  some  of  their  English  brethren,  that 
the  Synod  proceeded  to  fulfill  the  spirit  rather  than  the  letter  of 
the  Court's  injunction  in  regard  to  a  Confession  of  Faith  by  a 
hearty  acceptance  of  the  doctrinal  part  of  the  work  of  the  West- 
minster Assembly  ("for  the  substance  therof")  which  had  just 
received  the  approval  of  Parliament.'  These  things  were  quickly 
done,  and  as  the  Synod  united  in  a  parting  hymn,^  after  a  session 
of  less  than  a  fortnight,^  it  was  doubtless  with  a  feeling  of  satisfac- 
tion in  their  work.  They  had  put  the  churches  of  New  England, 
by  formal  declaration,  where  they  had  always  been  in  fact,  at  one 
in  doctrine  with  the  Puritan  party  in  England,  whether  Presbyte- 
rian or  Independent.  Their  orthodoxy  could  not  be  impugned. 
They  had  formulated  their  polity  in  strict  and  logical  order,  and 
had  given  the  churches  a  standard  by  which  their  practice  might 
be  regulated  and  innovation  resisted.  They  had  presented  it,  too, 
in  a  form  not  likely  to  arouse  the  jealousy  of  either  faction  in 
England  or  give  excuse  for  Parliamentary  interference. 

The  Cambridge  Platform  is  the  most  important  monument  of 
early  New  England  Congregationalism,  because  it  is  the  clearest 
reflection  of  the  system  as  it  lay  in  the  minds  of  the  first  genera- 
tion on  our  soil  after  nearly  twenty  years  of  practical  experience. 
The  Platform  is  Barrowist.  It  does  not  recognize  strongly  the 
democratic  element  in  our  polity,  because  Congregationalism  at 
that  day  was  Barrowist.  It  urges  the  right  of  the  civil  magistrate 
to  interfere  in  matters  of  doctrine  and  practice,  because  Congre- 
gationalism then  believed  that  such  rights  were  his.  It  upholds 
Congregationalism  as  a  polity  of  exclusive  divine  warrant,  because 


'  See  Preface  to  the  Platform,  p.  195  of  this  volume. 

^  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  H:  2"-  They  sang  "the  song  of  Moses  and  the  Lamb  in  the  fif- 
teenth chapter  of  the  Revelation  —  adding  another  sacred  song  from  the  nineteenth  chapter  of  that: 
book  ;  which  is  to  be  found  metrically  paraphrased  in  the  New-England  psalm-book." 

'  Winthrop,  II :  403. 
13 


1 86  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

Congregationalism  in  the  seventeenth  century  so  regarded  itself. 
But  it  affirms  the  permanent  principles  of  Congregationalism  with 
equal  clearness  and  insistence.  The  autonomy  of  the  local  church, 
the  dependence  of  the  churches  upon  one  another  for  counsel,  the 
representative  character  of  the  ministry,  are  all  plainly  taught  and 
have  given  to  the  Platform  a  lasting  value  and  influence. 

The  Platform  thus  adopted  was  put  forth  in  print  by  means 
of  the  rude  press  at  Cambridge  in  1649,  and  at  the  October  session 
of  the  General  Court  of  that  year  was  duly  presented  to  the  Mas- 
sachusetts authorities.  The  Court  proceeded  with  its  usual  caution 
and  adopted  the  following  vote  ' — 

"Whereas  a  booke  hath  bene  presented  to  this  Cour*-,  intituled  a  Platforme  of 
Church-Discipline  out  of  the  Word  of  God,  etc.,  being  the  result  of  what  the  synod 
did  in  their  assembling,  1647,^  at  Cambridge,  for  the'  consideration  &  acceptance, 
the  Court  doth  conceive  it  meet  to  be  coiriended  to  the  judicious  &  pious  consideration 
of  the  seuerall  churches  w*''in  this  jurisdiction,  desiring  a  returne  from  them  at  the  next 
Geiill  Court  how  farr  its  suiteable  to  their  judgmen'^  &  approbations,  before  this 
Court  proceed  any  furthe""  therein." 

But,  thus  urged,  the  churches  were  slow  in  their  compliance  ; 
and  on  June  19,  1650,  the  Court  further  voted  that  ■* — 

"  forasmuch  as  (it  is  sajd)  that  some  of  the  churches  were  ignorant  of  the  sajd  order, 
&  therefore  little  hath  ben  done  in  that  pticular,  this  Courte  .  .  .  doe  hereby 
order,  that  the  sajd  booke  be  duly  considered  ofT  of  all  the  sayd  churches  within  this 
pattent,  &  that  they,  without  fayle,  will  returne  theire  thoughts  and  judgments  touch- 
inge  the  pticulars  thereof  to  the  next  session  of  this  Court  .  .  .  and  further,  it  is 
hereby  desired,  y'  euery  church  will,  by  the  first  oppertunity,  take  order  for  the 
p'cureinge  of  tbat  booke,  published  by  the  synod  at  London,  concerninge  the  doctrine 
of  the  gosple,'  that  the  churches  may  consider  of  that  booke,  also,  as  soone  as  they  can 
be  gotten." 

Thus  admonished,  the  churches  seem  generally  to  have  obeyed. 
If  a  judgment  may  be  based  on  the  instances  in  which  records  have 
come  down  to  us,  the  books  were  read  to  the  churches,  and  the 
opinion  of  the  membership  expressed  by  a  vote."     Of  course,  as  the 


1  Records  .  .  .  Mass.  Bay.,  II :  285  ;  III  :  177,  178.  The  text  is  from  the  Magistrate's 
Record. 

2  A  mistake  for  1648. 

3  Deputies'  Record  reads  more  correctly  their.,  i.  e.,  the  Court's. 

*  Records^  III:  204;  IV:  22. 

(  ^  I.  e.,  the  Westminster  Confession. 

*  A  few  examples  are  given  by  Felt,  Ecclesiast.  Hist.,  II  :  18,  19,  29.  Some  of  the  communi- 
cations of  the  churches  are  in  the  MSS.  Collections  of  the  Am.  Antiquarian  Soc,  Worcester,  Mass. 
I  have  not  seen  them. 


RECEITKW    i;V    COURT   AXl)    CIIURCIIF.S  187 

elders  framed  the  proposition,  their  influence  in  the  decision  of 
each  church  would  he  great.  When  the  Court  came  together  once 
more,  in  May,  1651,  it  was  moved  to  a  vote,  apparently  on  the  22d, 
expressing  its  thanks  to  the  Synod  now  nearly  three  years  ad- 
journed ;  but  declaring  that ' — 

"many  of  whom  [the  churches  of  Massachusetts]  were  pleased  to  p'sent  to  the  last 
session  of  the  last  Court,  by  the  deputyes  of  the  seuerall  townes,  seuerall  objections 
against  the  sd  confession  of  discipline,  or  seuerall  ptyculers  therein,  wherevppon  the 
Court  judged  it  convenient  &  conduceinge  to  peace  to  forbeare  to  giue  theire  approba- 
tion therevnto  vnles  such  objections  as  were  p'sented  were  cleared  &  remoued  ;  for 
which  purpose  this  Court  doth  order  the  secritary  to  draw  vp  y*"  sd  objections,  or  the 
princypall  of  them,  &  to  deliuer  the  same  to  Reuerend  M''  Cotten  within  one  moneth,  to 
be  coihunicated  to  the  elders  of  the  seuerall  churches,  who  are  desired  to  meete  S: 
cleare  the  sd  doubts,  or  any  other  that  may  be  imparted  to  them  by  any  other  p'son 
concerninge  the  id  draught  of  discipline,  &  to  returne  theire  advice  &  helpe  herein  to 
the  next  session  of  this  Generall  Court,  which  will  alwayes  be  zealous  acording  to 
theire  duty  to  giue  theire  testimony  to  euery  truth  of  Jesus  Christ,  though  they  cannot 
se  light  to  impose  any  formes  as  necessary  to  be  obserued  by  the  churches  as  a  bind- 
inge  rule." 

Little  as  this  cautious  vote  seems  to  indicate  any  disposition 
of  the  General  Court  to  be  domineering  over  the  churches,  there 
were  four  of  the  deputies,  including  the  representatives  of  the  town 
and  church  of  Boston,  who  voted  against  it.^ 

The  ministers  met  duly,  at  some  uncertain  date  that  summer, 

and   having   considered    the   objections  referred   to   them  by  the 

Court,  they  "appointed  Mr.  Richard  Mather  to  draw  up  an  answer 

to  them"  [the  criticisms];  and  this  "answer  by  him  composed,  and 

by  the  rest  approved,  was  given  in"'  to  the  Court  at  its  October 

session,  1651.     And  now,  more  than  three  years  after  the  close  of 

the  Synod,  the  Court  finally  put  the  stamp  of  its  approval  on  the 

Platform,  yet  in  no  mandatory  way.     On  October  14  it  voted  :  * 

"Whereas  this  Court  did,  in  the  yeare  1646,  giue  encouragment  for  an  assem- 
bly of  the  messengers  of  the  churches  in  a  synode,  and  did  desire  theire  helpe  to  draw 
vpp  a  confession  of  the  fayth  &  discipline  of  the  churches,  according  to  the  word  of 
God,  which  was  p'sented  to  this  Court,  &  ccmended  to  the  seuerall  churches,  many  of 
whom  returned  theire  approbation  &  assent  to  the  sd  draught  in  generall,  &  diverse  of 
the  churches  p'sented  some  objections  &  doubtes  agaynst  some  perticulers  in  the  id 


1  Records     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  III:  235,  236;  IV:  54,  55. 

»  John  Leverett  and  Thomas  Clarke  of  Boston,  William  Tyng  of  Braintree,  and  Jeremiah 
Hutchins  of  Hingham.  It  is  evident  that  at  Boston  and  Hingham  feeling  against  the  Synod  still 
continued. 

3  Magiialia,  ed.  1853-5,  II  :  237.  The  manuscript,  in  Mather's  handwriting,  is  at  Wor- 
cester. 

*  Rcco7-ds,  III  :  240  ;  IV  :  57,  58. 


1 88  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

draught,  wherevppon,  by  order  of  this  Court,  the  sd  objections  were  commended  to 
the  consideraCo  of  the  elders,  to  be  cleared  &  remoued,  who  haue  returned  theire 
answer  in  writinge,  which  the  Court,  havinge  p'vsed,  doe  thankfully  acknowledge 
theire  learned  paynes  therein,  &  account  themselues  called  of  God  (especially  at  this 
time,  when  the  truth  of  Christ  is  so  much  opposed  in  the  world)  to  giue  theire  testi- 
mony to  the  sd  Booke  of  Discipline,  that  for  the  substance  thereof  it  is  that  we  haue 
practised  &  doe  beleeue." 

The  magistrates,  always  stronger  than  the  deputies  in  their 
support  of  existing  institutions  in  church  and  state,  appear  to  have 
passed  the  resolution  without  dissent  ;  but,  spite  of  its  inoffensive 
form,  fourteen  of  the  forty  deputies  voted  against  its  adoption/ 
But  with  this  action  of  the  Court  the  Cambridge  Platform  became 
the  recognized,  if  not  the  unquestioned,^  pattern  of  ecclesiasti- 
cal practice  in  Massachusetts.  Endorsed,  "  for  the  substance  of 
it,"  by  the  Reforming  Synod  in  September,  1679,^  it  continued  the 
legally  recognized  standard  till  1780. 

Unfortunately  the  absence  of  any  mention  of  action  concern- 
ing the  Platform  in  the  contemporary  records  of  the  colonies  of 
Plymouth,  Connecticut,  and  New  Haven  veils  the  story  of  its  re- 
ception in  those  jurisdictions.  But  a  considerable,  though  uncer- 
tain, number  of  the  ministers  and  laymen  of  those  colonies  had 
taken  part  in  the  sessions  of  the  Synod,  and  there  is  no  rea- 
son to  suppose  that  the  result  was  any  less  acceptable  to  their 
churches  than  to  those  of  Massachusetts.  Though  written  a  cen- 
tury and  a  half  later,  the  affirmation  of  Trumbull  is  doubtless 
essentially  true  that"" — 

"the  ministers  and  churches  of  Connecticut  and  New  Haven  were  present  [at  the 
Cambridge  Synod],  and  united  in  the  form  of  discipline  which  it  recommended.  By 
this  Platform  of  discipline,  the  churches  of  New-England,  in  general,  walked  for 
more  than  thirty  years." 


'  William  Havvthoi-ne,  Henry  Bartholomew,*  Salem  ;  Thomas  Clarke,  John  Leverett,*  Bos- 
ton ;  Stephen  Kinsley,  William  Tyng,*  Braintree  ;  Richard  Browne,  Watertown  ;  John  Johnson, 
Roxbury  ;  Esdras  Reede,*  Wenham  ;  William  Cowdry,*  Reading ;  Walter  Haynes,*  Sudbury  ; 
Roger  Shaw,*  Hampton,  N.  H.  ;  John  Holbrooke,*  Weymouth  ;  Jeremiah  Hutchins,  Hingham. 
Where  marked  *  the  whole  delegation  of  the  town  voted  negatively. 

-  Mather,  Magnalia^  II :  237-247,  gives  four  points,  «,  the  Platform's  lack  of  clearness  re- 
garding the  right  of  a  minister  to  dispense  the  sacraments  to  any  congregation  not  his  own  ;  b,  its 
assertion  of  the  distinct  ofBce  of  ruling  elders  ;  r,  the  practice  of  ordaining  at  the  hands  of  the 
brethren  of  the  local  church  rather  than  of  ministers  of  other  churches;  d,  the  use  of  personal  rela- 
tions and  confessions  in  the  admission  of  members  ;  as  cases  in  which  the  thought  of  the  churches 
in  his  day  varied  from  the  Platform. 

3  Result  of  Synod  of  1679,  in  Necessity  of  Refcrvtaticn,  etc.,  Boston,  1679,  Epistle  Dedica- 
tory, p.  v  ;  see  also  Magnalia,  II :  237. 

*  Trumbull,  History  0/  Connecticut,  New  Haven,  iSiS,  I  :  2S9. 


THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYMBOLS 

THE  TENTATIVE  CONCLUSIONS  OF   1 646  [Extracts) 

The  Result  of  the  Disputations  of  the  Synod,  or  Assembly,  at  Cambridge  in 
N'cw  England,  Begun  upon  the  first  day  of  the  7"'  Month,  An.  Dom.  1646.  About 
the  power  of  the  Civill  Magistrate  in  matters  of  the  first  Table  ;  and  also  about 
the  grounds  of  Synods,  ivith  their  fower,  and  the  power  of  calling  of  them.  Being 
drawn  up  by  some  of  the  Members  of  the  Assembly,  deputed  thereunto,  and  being 
distinctly  read  in  the  Assembly,  it  was  agreed  thus  farre  onely.  That  they  should  be 
commended  unto  more  serious  consideration  against  the  next  Meeting. 

Touching  the  Question  of  the  Civill  Magistrate  in  matters  of  Religion,  we 
shall  crave  leave  to  narrow  and  limit  the  state  of  it  in  the  mannner  of  the 
Proposall  of  it,  and  shall  therefore  propound  it  thus. 

Quest.  Whether  the  Civil  Magistrate  in  matters  of  Religion,  or  of  the  first  [2] 
Table,  hath  power  civilly  to  command  or  forbid  things  respecting  the  outward  man, 
which  are  clearly  commanded  and  forbidden  in  the  word,  and  to  inflict  sutable  pun- 
ishments, according  to  the  nature  of  the  transgressions  against  the  same,  and  all  this 
with  reference  to  godly  peace  ? 

Answ.  The  want  of  a  right  stating  of  this  Question,  touching  the  Civil  Mag- 
istrates power  in  matters  of  Religion,  hath  occasioned  a  world  of  Errours,  tending  to 
infringe  the  just  power  of  the  Magistrate,  we  shall  therefore  explaine  the  termes  of 
the  Question,  and  then  confirme  it  in  the  Affirmative. 

By  \}  Commanding,  Forbidding,  and  Punishing\  we  meane  the  coercive  power 
of  the  Magistrate,  which  is  seen  in  such  acts.  By  \_Matters  of  Religion  commanded 
or  forbidden  in  the  word,  respecting  the  outward  man]  we  understand  indefinitely, 
whether  those  of  Doctrine  or  Discipline,  of  faith  or  practice;  his  power  is  not  limited 
to  such  matters  of  Religion  onely,  which  are  against  the  light  of  Nature,  or  against 
the  Law  of  Nations,  or  against  the  fundamentalls  of  Religion  ;  all  these  are  matters 
of  Re-f3]  ligion,  which  may  be  expressed  by  the  outward  man,  but  not  onely  these ; 
therefore  we  say  not  barely  thus  [/n  matters  of  the  first  Table]  but  joyn  therewith 
[In  matters  of  Religion]  that  all  ambiguity  may  be  avoided,  and  that  it  may  be  un- 
derstood as  well  of  matters  which  are  purely  Evangelicall,  so  far  as  expressed  by 
the  outward  man,  as  well  as  of  other  things.  And  we  say,  \C0mma71ded  or  forbid- 
den in  the  word]  meaning  of  the  whole  word,  both  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament; 
exception  being  onely  made  of  such  things  which  were  meerly  Ceremoniall,  or  other- 
wise peculiar  to  the  Jewish  polity,  and  cleered  to  be  abolished  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment :  By  which  limitation  of  the  Magistrates  power  to  things  commanded  or  for- 
bidden in  the  word,  we  exclude  any  power  of  the  Magistrate,  either  in  command- 
ing any  new  thing,  whether  in  doctrine  or  discipline,  or  any  thing  in  matters  of  Re- 
ligion, which  is  beside  or  against  the  word,  or  in  forbidding  any  thing  which  is  ac- 
cording to  the  word. 

'  [    ]  instead  of  "     ". 

(189) 


1 90  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

1  Hence  he  is  not  to  mould  up  and  impose  what  Erastian  forme  of  Church 
polity  he  pleaseth;  because  if  there  be  [4]  but  one  form  commanded  now  of  God, 

■^  he  cannot  therefore  command  what  forme  he  will. 

2  Hence  he  is  not  to  force  all  persons  into  the  Church,  or  to  the  participation 
of  the  seals  ;  because  he  is  not  thus  commanded. 

3  Hence  he  is  not  to  limit  to  things  indifferent,  which  are  neither  commanded, 
nor  forbidden  in  the  word,  without  apparent  expediency  or  inexpediency  of  attend- 
ino-  the  same.  By  that  expression  [c/fcr/j']  commanded  or  forbidden  in  the  word, 
we  understand  that  which  is  cleer,  either  by  express  words,  or  necessary  Consequence 
from  the  Scripture  ;  and  we  say  cleerly  commanded  or  forbidden  in  the  -word.  Not 
simply  that  which  the  Magistrate  or  others  think  to  be  cleerly  commanded  or  for- 
bidden; for  they  may  thinke  things  commanded,  to  be  forbidden,  and  things  forbid- 
den to  be  commanded ;  but  that  which  is  in  it  selfe  in  such  sort  cleer  in  the  word, 
de  jure,  the  Civil  Magistrate  in  these  days  since  Christs  ascension,  may  and  ought 
to  command  and  forbid  such  things  so  cleared  in  the  word,  albeit  de  facto,  oft-times 
he  doe  [5]  not.  {^Siitably  inflicting  punishments  according  to  the  nature  of  the 
transgressions]  This  clause  needeth  not  much  explication,  being  so  plaine  of  it 
selfe;  some  things  commanded  and  forbidden  in  the  Law  of  God,  are  of  a  smaller 
nature  in  respect  of  the  Law  of  man,  and  in  this  respect  'tis  true  which  is  often  said, 
that  De  minimis  non  curat  lex,  i.  e.  Mans  Law  looks  not  after  small  matters,  but 
other  things  commanded  or  forbidden  in  Gods  Law,  are  momentous,  and  of  a  higher 
nature,  and  though  small  in  themselves,  yet  weighty  in  the  consequence  or  circum- 
stance. And  in  this  case  if  he  inflict  a  slight  paper  punishment  when  the  offence  is 
of  an  high  nature ;  or  contrariwise,  when  he  inflicts  that  which  is  equivalent  to  a 
capitall  punishment,  when  the  offence  is  of  an  inferiour  nature,  he  doth  not  punish 
sutably.  There  are  sundry  rules  in  the  word  in  matters  of  this  sort,  as  touching  the 
punishment  of  Blasphemy,  Idolatry,  Heresie,  prophanation  of  the  Lords  day,  and 
sundry  other  like  matters  of  Religion,  according  to  w'=''  Magistrates  of  old  have 
held,  and  others  now  may  observe  proportions,  in  ma-[6]  king  other  particular  Laws 
in  matters  of  Religion,  with  sanctions  of  punishments,  and  inflicting  the  same,  they 

inflict  sutable  punishments [7]     ....     By  this,  which  hath  been 

already  spoken  touching  the  acts  and  rule  of  the  Magistrates  coercive  power  in  mat- 
ters of  Religion,  the  impertinency  and  invalidity  of  many  objections  against  this  his 
power  will  appear,  as  ....  [S]  ....  3.  That  thereby  tyranny  is  ex- 
ercised over  mens  tender  consciences,  and  true  liberty  of  conscience  is  infringed  ; 
when  as  he  de  jure  commands  nothing  but  that  which,  if  men  have  any  tendernesse 
of  conscience,  they  are  bound  in  conscience  to  submit  thereto,  and  in  faithful!  sub- 
mitting to  which  is  truest  liberty  of  conscience,  conscience  being  never  in  a  truer  or 
better  estate  of  liberty  here  on  earth,  than  when  most  ingaged  to  walke  according 

to  Gods  Commandements [9]     •     •     •     ■     E^o]     ....     7-   That 

thereby  the  civill  Magistrate  is  put  upon  many  intricate  perplexities  &  hazards  of 
conscience,  how  to  jvidge  in  and  of  matters  of  Religion. 

But  this  doth  not  hinder  the  Magistrate  from  that  use  of  his  coercive  power,  in 
matters  commanded  or  forbidden  in  the  first  Table,  no  more  then  it  doth  hinder  him 
from  the  like  power  in  matters  of  the  second  Table; '  none  being  ignorant  what  per- 
plexing intricacies  there  are  in  these  as  well  as  in  the  former  ;  as  conscientious  Mag- 


1  It  need  scarcely  be  pointed  out  that  what  is  signified  are  the  actions,  murder,  adultery, 
theft,  falsevvitness,  etc.,  which  are  the  subjects  of  criminal  law  as  well  as  of  the  second  half  of  the 
Commandments,  Exodus,  x.\  :  12-17. 


THE   CONCLUSIONS   OF    1646  I9I 

istrates  finde  by  dayly  experience.  .  .  [n].  .  .  [12J  .  .  [13]  .  .  [14] 
II.  That  thereby  we  shall  incourage  and  harden /'(r/^j^j  and  7 ^r/C-j- iu  their  cruell 
persecutions  of  the  Saiitfs ;  whereas  for  the  Magistrate  to  command  or  forbid  ac- 
cording to  God,  as  it  is  not  persecution,  so  neither  doth  it  of  it  selfe,  tend  to  perse- 
cution. Power  to  presse  the  Word  of  God  and  his  truth,  doth  not  give  warrant  to 
suppresse  or  oppresse  the  same  :  the  times  are  evill  indeed  when  the  pressing  of  obe- 
dience to  the  rule  shall  be  counted  persecution [15-19]     •     •     ■     Will 

not  this  Thesis  arme  and  stir  up  the  Civill  power  in  Old  England,  against  godly 
Orthodox  ones  of  the  Congregationall  way :  or  exasperate  Civill  power  in  A'e'iO  Eng- 
land, against  godly,  moderate,  and  Orthodox  Presbyterians,  if  any  such  should  de- 
sire their  liberty  here?  we  conceive  no,'  except  the  civill  disturbance  of  the  more 
rigidly,  unpeaceably,  and  corruptly  minded,  be  very  great;  yet  betwixt  men  godly 
and  moderately  minded  on  both  sides,  the  difference  upon  true  and  due  search  is 
found  so  small,  by  judicious,  Orthodox,  godly,  and  moderate  Divines,  as  that  they 
may  both  stand  together  in  peace  and  love  ;  if  liberty  should  be  desired  by  either 
sort  here  or  there  so  exercising  their  liberty,  as  the  [20]  publick  peace  be  not  in- 
frinjred. 


[4S]     ....     Wurt/  be  the  grounds  from  Scripture  to  warrant  Synods  ? 

In  answer  to  this  Question,  we  shall  propound  to  consideration  three  Arguments 
from  Scripture,  and  five  Reasons. 

Arguments. 

Augum  :  I  Taken  from  Acts  15.  An  orderly  Assembly  of  qualified  Church- 
messengers  (Elders  and  other  Brethren)  in  times  of  controversie  and  danger,  con- 
cerning weighty  matters  of  Religion,  for  the  considering,  disputing,  finding  out  and 
clearing  of  the  truth,  from  the  Scripture,  and  establishing  of  Peace  amongst  the 
Churches,  is  founded  upon  Acts  15. 

But  a  Synod  is  an  orderly  Assembly  [etc.]  .  .  .  [49]  .  .  .  Ergo,  A 
Synod  is  founded  upon  Acts  15. 


[63]     ....     \^\lat  is  the  Power  of  a  Synod ? 
The  Power  of  a  Synod 

i  Decisive         \ 
Directive,  CT^  ^  of  the  truth,  by  • 

Declarative    ) 
clearing  and  evidencing  the  same  out  of  the  word  of  God,  non  coactive,  yet  more        / 
than  discretive. 

For  the  better  understanding  hereof,  consider  that  Ecclesiasticall  Power  is 

1  Decisive,  in  determining  by  way  of  discussion  and  disputation,  what  is  truth, 
and  so  consequently  resolving  [64]  the  Question  in  weighty  matters  of  Religion, 
Acts  15,  16,  23.  &  16.  4.     This  belongs  to  the  Synod. 

2  Discretive,  in  discerning  of  the  truth  or  falshood  that  is  determined ;  this 
belongs  to  every  Believer. 


1  It  will  be  remembered  that  the  Presbyterians  were  now  in  power  in  EnRland.  Vet  the 
course  of  events  in  New  England  had  made  the  statement  not  wholly  without  justification.  Wins- 
low  in  1647  W3S  able  to  cite  the  cases  of  the  ministers  of  Newbury  and  Hingham  as  illustrations  of 
toleration  of  Presbyterian  views,  llypocrisie  I'ninaskcd,  pp.  99,  100. 


192  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

3  Coactive  or  judicial  (for  we  omit  to  speak  in  tliis  place  of  Official  judgement) 
in  judging  of  the  truth  determined  Authoritatively,  so  as  to  impose  it  with  Authority, 
and  to  censure  the  disobedient  with  Ecclesiastical  censure,  i  Cor.  5.  12.  Mat.  18.  17. 
This  belongeth  to  every  particular  Church. 

The  judgement  of  a  Synod  is  in  some  respect  superiour,  in  some  respect  infe- 
riour  to  the  judgement  of  a  particular  Church  ;  it  is  superiour  in  respect  of  direction  ; 
inferiour  in  respect  of  jurisdiction,  which  it  hath  none. 

Quere.     Hozu,  and  hoiu  far  doth  the  sentence  of  a  Synod  hind? 

A/!s-j.  We  must  distinguish  between  the  Synods  declaration  of  the  truth,  and 
the  politicall  imposition  of  the  truth  declared  by  the  Synod. 

The  Synods  declaration  of  the  truth  binds  not  politically,  but  formally  onely, 
[65]  {i.e.)  in  foro  interiori  (i.e.)  it  binds  the  conscience,  and  that  by  way  of  the 
highest  institution  that  is  meerly  doctrinall.  The  politicall  Imposition  of  the  truth 
declared  by  the  Synod,  is  Ecclesiasticall,  or  Civill :  Ecclesiasticall,  by  particular 
Churches,  and  this  binds  not  onely  formally,  but  politically,  in  foro  exteriori,  i.  e. 
it  binds  the  outward  man,  so  as  the  disobedient  in  matters  of  offence,  is  subject  unto 
Church  censure,  affirmatively,  towards  their  own  Members ;  negatively,  by  non  com- 
munion, as  concerning  others,  whether  Church  or  Members.  Civil,  by  the  Magis- 
trate strengthening  the  truth  thus  declared  by  the  Synod,  and  approved  by  the 
Churches,  either  by  his  meer  Authoritative  suffrage,  assent,  and  testimony,  (if  the 
matter  need  no  more)  or  by  his  authoritative  Sanction  of  it  by  Civill  punisliment, 
the  nature  of  the  offence  so  requiring. 


[66]     .      .      To  zohoDi  belongeth  the poiver  of  calling  a  Synod? 

Ausiv.  For  satisfaction  to  this  Question,  we  shall  propound  one  distinction, 
and  answer  three  Queries. 

Distin  :  The  power  of  calling  Synods  is  either 

(  Authoritative,  belonging  to  the  Magistrates. 
Smgle   -'  '  &    &  & 

(  Ministeriall,  belonging  to  the  particular  Churches. 

Mi.xt      -!  When  both  proceed  orderly  and  joyntly  in  the  use  of  their  severall  powers. 

.      .      .      .     [70]  Queries. 

Qiterie  i  In  what  case  may  the  Magistrate  proceed  to  call  a  Synod  without 
the  consent  of  the  Churches  ? 

Ans7o.  The  Magistrate  in  case  the  Churches  be  defective,  and  not  to  be  pre- 
vailed with,  for  the  performance  of  their  duty,  (just  cause  so  requiring)  may  call  a 
Synod,  and  the  Churches  ought  to  yield  obedience  thereunto. 

[71]  But  notwithstanding  the  refusall,  he  may  proceed  to  call  an  Assembly, 
and  that  for  the  same  end  that  a  Synod  meetes  for,  namely,  to  consider  of,  and  clear 
the  truth  from  the  Scriptures,  in  weighty  matters  of  Religion  :  But  such  an  Assembly 
called  and  gathered  without  the  consent  of  the  Churches,  is  not  properly  that  which 
is  usually  understood  by  a  Synod,  for  though  it  be  in  the  power  of  the  Magistrate  to 
Call,  yet  it  is  not  in  his  power  to  Constitute  a  Synod,  without  at  least  the  implicite 
consent  of  the  Churches :  Because  Church-Messengers,  who  necessarily  presuppose 
an  explicite  (which  order  calls  for)  or  implicite  consent  of  the  Churches,  are  essen- 
tial! to  a  Synod. 

Querie  3  In  what  case  may  the  Churches  call  a  Synod  xoitlwut  the  consent  of 
the  Ma<ristrate  ? 


THE   CONCLUSIONS   OF    I  646  1 93 

[72]  Answ.  In  case  the  Magistrate  be  defective,  and  not  to  be  prevailed  with 
for  the  performance  of  his  duty  ;  just  cause,  providence,  and  prudence  concurring  : 
The  Churches  may  both  Call  and  Constitute  a  Synod  :  The  Reason  why  the 
Churches  can  Constitute  a  Synod  without  the  consent  of  the  Magistrate,  although 
the  Magistrate  cannot  constitute  a  Synod  without  the  consent  of  the  Churches,  is 
because  the  essentialls  of  a  Synod,  together  with  such  other  cause,  as  is  required 
to  the  being  (though  not  so  much  to  the  better  being)  of  a  Synod,  ariseth  out  of  par- 
ticular churches 

[74]  Qiierie  3  In  case  tlic  Magistrate  and  Chn)-ches  are  both  loilling  to  proceed 
orderly  in  the  joywt  exercise  of  their  several!  Pozaers,  wliether  it  is  lazufull  for 
either  of  them  to  call  a  Synod  ivilhoitt  the  Consent  of  the  other  i' 

Answ.     No  ;  they  are  to  proceed  now  by  way  of  a  mixt  Call 

The  Churches  desire,  the  Ma-[75]gistrate  Commands;  Churches 
act  in  a  way  of  liberty,  the  Ma- 
gistrate in  a  way  of  Authority. 
A/oses  and  Aaron  should 
goe  together,  and  kiss 
one  another  in 
the  Mount  of 
GOD. 


194  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 


THE    CAMBRIDGE    PLATFORM,    1648 

A  I  Platform  of  |  CHURCH  DISCIPLINE  |  GATHERED 
OUT  OF  THE  WORD  OF  GOD:  \AND  AGREED  UPON  BY  THE 
ELDERS:     |     AND    MESSENGERS    OF     THE    CHURCHES    |     ASSEMBLED     IN 

THE  SYNOD  AT  CAMBRIDGE  |  IN  NEW  ENGLAND  |  To  be  presented 
to  the  Churches  and  Generall  Court  |  for  their  consideration  and  ac- 
ceptance, I  in  the  Lord.  |  The  Eighth  Moneth  Anno  1649  |  | 

Psal :  84  I.  Hotu  amiable  are  thy  Tabernacles  O  Lord  of  Hosts?  \  Psal  : 
26.  8.  Lord  I  have  loved  the  habitation  of  thy  house  6^'  the  \  place  where  thine 
honour  dwelleth.  \  Psal  :  27.  4.  One  thing  have  L  desired  of  the  Lord 
that  will  L  seek  [  after,  that  I  may  dwell  in  the  house  of  the  Lord  all 
the  I  dayes  of  my  life  to  behold  the  Beauty  of  the  Lord  &=  to  |  inquire 
in  his  Temple.  |  |  Printed  by  ^  G^  at  Cambridge  in  New  Eng- 
land I  and  are  to  be  sold  at  Cambridge  and  Boston  \  Anno  Dam  :  164Q. 

[ii  Blank] 

THE 
PREFACE' 

THE  setting  forth  of  the  Public k  Confession  of  the  Faith  of 
Churches  hath  a  double  end,  6^  both  tending  to  publick  edification,  first 
the  maintenance  of  the  faith  entire  luithin  it  self :  secondly  the  holditig 
forth  of  Unity  c?"  LLarmony,  both  amongst,  &=  zvith  other  Churches. 
Our  Churches  here,  as  {ly  the  grace  of  Christ^  wee  bclcive  c^  profess 
the  same  Doctrine  of  the  trueth  of  the  Gospell,  which  generally  is 
received  in  all  the  reforined  Churches  of  Christ  in  Europe :  so 
especially,  wee  desire  not  to  vary  from  the  doctrine  of  faith,  (Sr'  truth 
held  forth  by  the  churches  of  our  native  country.  For  though  it  be  not 
one  native  country,  that  can  breed  vs  all  of  one  mind ;  nor  ought  wee 
for  to  have  the  glorious  faith  of  our  Lord  Jesus  with  respect  of  persons : 
yet  as  Paul  who  was  himself  a  Jew,  professed  to  hold  forth  the  doctrine 
of  justification  by  faith,  cy  of  the  resurection  of  the  dead,  according  as 
he  knew  his  godly  countrymen  did,  who  were  Lewes  by  nature  [Galat.  2. 
15.  Acts  26.  6,  7.)  soe  wee,  who  are  by  nature,  English  men,  doe  desire 
to  hold  forth  the  same  doct7'ine  of  religion  {especially  in  fundamentalist 
which  wee  see  6^  know  to  be  held  by  the  churches  of  England,  according 
to  the  truth  of  the  Gospell 

The  more  wee  discern,  [that  which  7c>ee  doe,  &=  have  cause  to  doe 
with  incessant  mourning  6^  trembling)  the  unkind,  ct=  unbretherly,  &= 
unchristian  contentions  of  our  godly  brethren,  &=  countrymen,  in  matters 
of  church-government :  the  more  ernestly  doe  wee  desire  to  see  them  joyned 


'  This  work,  apparently  the  first  specimen  of  the  printing  of  Samuel  Green  of  Cambridge,  is 
thus  truly  characterized  by  Thomas,  History  of  Printing  in  America,  2d  ed.,  Albany,  1874,  1 :  63, 
64,  "  This  book  appears  to  be  printed  by  one  who  was  but  little  acquainted  with  the  typographic 
art  .  .  .  the  press  work  is  very  bad,  and  that  of  the  case  no  better  .  .  .  the  compositor  did 
not  seem  to  know  the  use  of  points  .  .  .  Letters  of  abbreviation  are  frequently  used  . 
The  spelling  is  very  ancient." 


TREFACE    TO    THE    I'LATFOR.M  1 95 

together  in  one  common  faith,  Cs^  our  selves  with  them.  For  this  end, 
having  perused  the  pnblick  confession  of  faith,  agreed  upon  by  the  Rever-  , 
end  assembly  of  Divines  at  Westminster,  cs^  finding  the  summ  o^  substance  ■ 
the r of  {in  matters  of  doctrine)  to  express  not  their  own  judgements  only, 
but  ours  also  :  and  being  like^oise  called  upon  by  our  godly  Magistrates, 
to  draw  up  a  publick  confession  of  that  faith, ivhich  is  constantly  taught, 
6^  generaly  professed  amongst  us,  wee  thought  good  to  present  unto 
them,  6^  with  them  to  our  churches,  &=  with  them  to  all  the  churches  of 
Christ  abroad,  our  professed  er'  hearty  assent  (b^  attestation  to  the  ivhole 
confession  of  faith  {for  substance  of  doctrine)  which  the  Rc^^erend  assem- 
bly presented  to  the  Religious  6^  Honourable  Parlamet  of  England:  Ex- 
cepting only  some  sections  in  the  2^  30  (5^  31.  Chapters  of  their  confession, 
which  concern  points  of  controversie  in  church-discipline ;  Touching 
which  ivee  refer  our  [2]  selves  to  the  draught  of  church-discplinc  in  the 
ensueing  treatise. 

The  truth  of  7uhat  -we  here  declare,  may  appear  by  the  unanimous 
vote  of  the  Synod  of  the  Elders  &'  messengers  of  our  churches  assembled 
at  Cambridg,  the  last  of  the  sixth  vwnth,  1648  :  which  joyntly  passed  in 
these  -words  ;  This  Synod  having  perused,  &  considered  (with  much 
gladness  of  heart,  &  thankfuUness  to  God)  the  cofession  of  faith 
published  of  late  by  the  Reverend  Assembly  in  England,  doe  judge 
it  to  be  very  holy,  orthodox,  &  judicious  in  all  matters  of  faith  :  & 
doe  therfore  freely  &  fully  consent  therunto,  for  the  substance 
therof.  Only  in  those  things  which  have  respect  to  church  govern- 
ment &  discipline,  wee  refer  our  selves  to  the  platform  of  church- 
discipline,  agreed  upon  by  this  present  assebly  :  &  doe  therfore 
think  it  meet,  that  this  confession  of  faith,  should  be  comended  to 
the  churces  of  Christ  amongst  us,  &  to  the  Honoured  Court,  as 
worthy  of  their  due  consideration  &  acceptance.  Howbeit,  wee  may 
not  conceal,  that  the  doctrine  of  vocation  expressed  in  Chap  10.  S 
I.  er"  summarily  repeated  Chap,  13.  &  i.  passed  not  without  some 
debate.  Yet  considering,  that  the  term  of  vocation,  &=  others  by  which  it 
is  described,  are  capable  of  a  large,  or  more  strict  sense,  &^  use,  and  that 
it  is  not  intended  to  bind  apprehensions  precisely  in  point  of  order  or 
method,  there  hath  been  a  generall  condescendency  therunto. 

Now  by  this  our  professed  consent  Cs^  free  concurrence  with  them  in 
all  the  doctrinalls  of  religion,  wee  hope,  it  nuiy  appear  to  the  world,  that 
as  wee  are  a  remnant  of  the  people  of  the  same  nation  ivith  them  :  so  wee 
are  professors  of  the  same  common  faith,  &=  fellow-heyres  of  the  same 
common  salvation.  Yea  moreover,  as  this  our  profession  of  the  same 
faith  with  them,  will  exempt  us  {even  in  their  judgmets)  from  suspicion  of 
heresy :  so  {wee  trust)  it  may  exempt  us  in  the  like  sort  from  suspicion 
of  schism  :  that  though  wee  are  forced  to  dissent  from  them  in  matters 
of  church-discipline  :  Yet  our  dissent  is  not  taken  up  out  of  arrogancy  of 
spirit  in  our  selves  {ivhom  they  see  willingly  condescend  to  learn  of  them  :) 
neither  is  it  cartyed  with  uncharitable  censoriousness  towards  them, 
{both  which  are  the  proper,  e^  essentiall  charracters  of  schism)  but  in 
meekness  of  wisdom,  as  wee  walk  along  with  them,  &=  follow  them,  as 
they  follow  Christ :  so  inhere  wee  conceiv  a  different  apprehention  of  the 
mind  of  Christ  {as  it  falletfi  out  in  some  few  points  touching  church- 


196  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

order)  -ivce  still  reserve  due  reverence  to  them  {ivhovi  wee  judge  to  be, 
through  Christ,  the  glorious  lights  of  both  nations :)  6^  only  crave  leave 
{as  in  spirit  taee  are  bound)  to  follozu  the  Lamb  withersoever  he  gocth, 
c^  {after  the  Apostles  example)  as  wee  beleive,  so  wee  speake. 
L-  And  if  the  example  of  such  poor  outcasts  as  our  selves,  might  pre- 

I  vaile  if  not  with  all  {for  that  were  too  great  a  blessing  to  hope  for)  yet 
with  some  or  other  of  our  brethren  in  England,  so  farr  as  they  are  come 
to  mind  &=  speake  the  same  thing  with  such  as  dissent  from  them,  ivee 
hope  in  Christ,  it  would  not  onely  moderate  the  harsh  judging  [3]  and 
condemning  of  one  another  in  such  differences  of  judgment,  as  may  be 
found  in  the  choysest  saints  :  but  also  prevent  {by  the  mercy  of  Christ)  the 
pcrill  of  the  distraction  c^  destruction  of  all  the  churches  in  both  king- 
doms. Otherwise,  if  brethren  shall  goe  on  to  bite  6^  devour e  one  another, 
the  Apostle  feared  {as  wee  also,  with  sadness  of  heart  doc)  it  will  tend 
to  the  consumi77g  of  them,  6^  ils  all :  which  the  Lord  prevent. 

Wee  are  not  ignorant,  that  {besides  these  aspertions  of  Heresy  6^ 
Schism)  other  exceptions  also  are  taken  at  our  way  of  church-govern- 
ment :  but  {as  ivee  conceive)  tpon  as  little  ground. 

As  I  That  by  admitting  none  into  the  fellowship  of  our 
Church,  but  saints  by  calling,  wee  Rob  many  parish-churches  of 
their  best  members,  to  make  up  one  of  our  congregations:  which 
is  not  only,  to  gather  churches  out  of  churches  (a  thing  unheard 
of  in  Scripture:)  but  also  to  weaken  the  hearts  &  hands  of  the  best 
Ministers  in  the  parishes,  by  dispoyling  them  of  their  best  hearers. 

2  That  wee  provide  no  course  for  the  gayning,  &  calling  in,  of 
ignorant,  &  erronious,  &  scandalous  persos,  whom  wee  refuse  to 
receive  into  our  churches,  &  so  exclude  from  the  wholsom  remedy 
of  church-discipline. 

3  That  in  our  way,  wee  sow  seeds  of  division  &  hindrance  of 
edificatio  in  every  family:  whilst  admitting  into  our  churches  only 
voluntaries,  the  husbad  will  be  of  one  church,  the  wife  of  another: 
the  parents  of  one  church,  the  children  of  another  the  maister  of 
one  church,  the  servants  of  another.  And  so  the  parents  &  mais- 
ters  being  of  different  churches  from  their  children  &  servants, 
they  cannot  take  a  just  account  of  their  profiting  by  what  they 
heare,  yea  by  this  meanes  the  husbands,  parents,  &  maisters,  shall 
be  chargable  to  the  maintenace  of  many  other  churches,  &  church- 
officers,  besides  their  own:  which  will  prove  a  charge  &  burden 
unsupportable. 

But  for  Answer,  as  to  the  first.  For  gathering  churches  out  of 
churches,  wee  cannot  say,  that  is  a  thing  unheard  of  in  Scripture.  The 
first  christian  church  was  gathered  out  of  the  Jetvish  church,  &=  out  of 
many  Synagogues  in  that  church,  6^  consisted  partly  of  the  Lnhabitants 
of  lerusalem,  partly  of  the  Galileans  :  who  though  they  kept  some  com- 
munion in  some  parts  of  publick  worship  with  the  Temple  :  yet  neither 
did  they  frequent  the  Sacrifices,  nor  repair  to  the  Sajiedrim  for  the  de- 
termining of  their  church-causes  :  but  kept  entire  &=  constant  communion 
li'lth  the  Apostles  church  in  all  the  ordinances  of  the  gospell.  And  for 
the  first  christian  church  oj  the  Gentiles  at  Antoch,  it  appeareth  to  have 
been  gathered  &=  constituted  partly  of  the  dispersed  brethren  of  the  church 


PREFACE   TO   THE    PLATFORINI  I97 

at  lerii  sale  III  {juhcrof  some  ivcre  men  of  Cyprus,  and  Cyrciie)  ^partly 
of  the  bcleiving  Gentiles.     Acts.  11.  20,  21. 

If  it  be  said  the  first  christian  church  at  lerusalem,  &:  that  at 
Antioch  were  gathered  not  out  of  any  christian  church,  but  out  of 
the  Jewish  Temple  and  [4]  Synagogues,  which  were  shortly  after 
to  be  abolished:  &  their  gathering  to  Antioch,  was  upon  occasion 
of  dispersion  in  time  of  persecution. 

Wee  desire,  it  may  be  considered,  i  That  the  members  of  the  Jeii<ish 
Church  were  more  strongly  and  straitly  tyed  by  express  holy  covenant,  to 
keep  fellowship  with  the  le^vish  church,  till  it  was  abolished,  then  any 
members  of  christian  parish-churches  are  wont  to  be  tyed  to  keep 
fellowship  ivith  their  parish-churches.  The  Episcopall  Canons, which  bind 
them  to  attend  on  theier  parish  church,  it  is  likely  they  are  now  abolished 
with  the  Episcopacy.  The  common  Law  of  the  Land  is  satisfycd  (as  wee 
conciz'e)  if  they  attend  upon  the  worship  of  God  in  any  other  church 
though  not  within  their  own  parish.  But  no  such  like  covenant  of  God, 
nor  any  other  religious  tye  lycth  upon  them  to  attend  the  worship  of  God 
in  their  ozvn  parish  church,  as  did  lye  upon  the  lewes  to  attend  upon  the 
worship  of  God  in  their  Temple  and  Synagogues. 

2  Though  the  Lezcish  Temple  Church  at  Lerusalem  7C'as  to  be 
abolished,  yet  that  doeth  not  make  the  desertion  of  it  by  the  members,  to  be 
la7cfull,  till  it  was  abolished.  Future  abolition  is  no  warrant  for  present 
desertio  :  unless  it  be  lawfull  in  some  case  whilest  the  church  is  yet  in 
present  standing  to  desert  it ;  to  witt,  either  for  avoyding  of  present  polu- 
tions,  or  for  hope  of  greater  edification,  and  so  for  better  satisfaction  to 
conscience  in  either  [.]  future  events  {or  foresight  of  them)  do  not  disolve 
present  relations.  Else  wives,  children,  servants,  might  desert  their  hus- 
bands, parents,  masters,  when  they  be  mortally  sick. 

3  What  the  members  of  the  Lewish  church  did,  in  joyning  to  the 
church  at  Antioch,  in  time  of  persecution,  it  may  well  be  concived,  the 
7neinbers  of  any  christian  church  may  do  the  like,  for  satisfaction  of  con- 
science. Peace  of  conscience  is  more  desirable,  then  the  peace  of  the  out- 
ward man  :  and  freedome  from  scruples  of  consciece  is  more  comfortable 
to  a  sincere  heart,  then  freedome  from  persecution. 

If  it  be  said,  these  members  of  the  Christian  Church  at  leru- 
salem, that  joyned  to  the  church  at  Antioch,  removed  their  habita- 
tions together  with  their  relations:  which  if  the  brethren  of  the 
congregationall  way  would  doe,  it  would  much  abate  the  grievance 
of  their  departure  from  their  presbyteriall  churches. 

Wee  verily  could  wish  them  so  to  doe,  as  well  approving  the  like  re- 
inovall  of  habitations,  in  case  of  changing  church-relations  [provided,  that 
it  may  be  done  without  too  much  detriment  to  their  outward  estates)  and 
wee  for  our  partes,  have  done  the  same.  But  to  put  a  necessity  of  re- 
movall  of  habitation  in  such  a  case,  it  is  to  foment  and  cherish  a  corrupt 
principle  of  making  civil  cohabitation,  if  not  a  formall  cause,  yet  at  least 
a  proper  adjunct  of  church-relation  ;  which  the  truth  of  the  Gospel  doeth 
not  acknowledg.  Now  to  foment  an  errour  to  the  prejudice  of  the  trueth 
of  the  Go  spell,  is  not  to  zvalke  with  a  right  foot  according  to  the  truth 
of  the  Gospel,  as  Paul  judgeth.      Galat.  2.  14. 

[5]  4    Wee  do  not  think  it  meet,  or  safe,  for  a  vieinbcr  of  a  pres- 


198  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

byteriall  Omrch,  forthwith  to  desert  his  relation  to  his  Church.,  betake 
,  himself  to  the  fellowship  of  a  Congregational  I  Chicrch,  tho2tgh  he  may 
discern  some  defect  in  the  estate,  or  government  of  his  owne. 

For  I.  Faithfullness  of  brotherly  love  in  Church-relation,  re- 
quireth,  that  the  members  of  the  Church  should  first  convince 
their  brethren  of  their  sinfull  defects,  &  duely  wait  for  their  ref- 
ormation, before  they  depart  from  them.  For  if  wee  must  take 
such  a  course  for  the  healing  of  a  private  brother,  in  a  way  of 
brotherly  love,  with  much  meekness,  &  patience:  how  more  more 
ought  wee  so  to  walk  with  like  tendrness,  towards  a  whole  church. 

Again  2  By  the  hasty  departure  of  sound  members  from  a 
defective  church,  reformation  is  not  promoted,  but  many  times  re- 
tarded, &  corruption  increased.  Wheras  on  the  contrary,  while 
sincere  members  breathing  after  purity  of  reformation  abide  to- 
gether, they  may  (by  the  blessing  of  God  upon  their  faithfull  en- 
deavours) prevaile  much  with  their  Elders,  &  neighbours  towards 
/  a  reformation;  it  may  be,  so  much,  as  that  their  Elders  in  their 

/  own  church  shall  receive  none  to  the  Scales,  but  vigiJalesaijits:  and 

in  the  Classis  shall  put  forth  no  authoritive  act  (but  consultative 
only)  touching  the  members  of  other  churches:  nor  touching  their 
own,  but  with  the  consent  (silet  consent  at  least)  of  their  own 
church:  which  two  things,  if  they  can  obteyn  with  any  humble, 
meek,  holy,  faithfull  endeavours,  wee  coceiv,  they  might  (by  the 
grace  of  Christ)  find  liberty  of  conscience  to  continue  their  rela- 
tion with  their  own  presbyteriall  church  without  scruple. 

5  But  to  add  a  ivord  farther,  touching  the  gathering  of  Churches 
out  of  Churches,  zuhat  if  there  'were  no  express  example  of  stich  a 
thing  extant  in  the  Scripttu^cs  f  that  which  zvee  are  zvont  to  answer  the 
Antipcsdobaptists,  7nay  suffice  hear:  it  is  enoiigh,  if  any  evidence  therof 
viay  be  gathered  from  just  cosequenc  of  Scriptiire  light.  Doctor 
Ames  his  judgmet  concerning  this  case,  passeth  {for  ozLght  wee  know) 
tuithout  exceptio,  which  he  gave  in  his  4  booke  of  coscicce^  in  Ans  to 
2  Qu  :    C  14.  Num  16. 

If  any  (saith  he)  wronged  with  unjust  vexation,  or  providing 
for  his  own  edificatio  or  in  testimony  against  sin  depart  from  a 
church  where  some  evills  are  toUerated,  &  joyn  himself  to  another 
more  pure,  yet  without  codemning  of  the  church  he  leaveth,  he  is 
not  therfore  to  be  held  as  a  schismatick,  or  as  guilty  of  any  other 
sinn.  }VJie7'e  the  Tripartite  disjunction,  which  the  judicio2is  Doctor 
putteth,  declareth  the  lawfullness  of  the  departure  of  a  Church-mem- 
ber from  his  church,  when  either  through  ivearyness  of  unjust  vexa- 
tion, or  in  way  of  provision  for  his  own  edification,  or  in  testimony 
against  sinn,  he  joyneth  himself  to  another  congregation  moj^e  re- 
formed. Any  one  of  these,  he  judgeth  a  just  &  lawfull  cause  of 
departure,  [6]  Though  all  of  them  do  not  concurr  together.  N^either 
zvill  such  a  practise  dispoyle  the  best  Ministers  of  the  parishes  of  their 
best  hearers. 

For  I  Sometimes  the  ^Ministers  themselves  are  willing  to  joyn 
with  their  better  sort  of  hearers,  in  this  way  of  reformation:  & 

'  Dr.  William  Ames,  De  Conscicntia,  Amsterdam,  1635.     The   reference   should   be  Q.  3  : 

C.    CJ. 


PREFACE    TO    THE    PLATFORM 


199 


then  they  &  their  hearers  continue  stil  their  Church  relation  to- 
gether, yea  &  confirm  it  more  straitly  &  strongly,  by  an  express 
renewed  covenant,  though  the  Ministers  may  still  continue  their 
wonted  preaching  to  the  whole  parrish. 

2  If  the  Ministers  do  dislike  the  way  of  those,  whom  they 
otherwise  count  their  best  members,  &  so  refuse  to  joyn  with  them 
therin;  yet  if  those  members  can  procure  some  other  Ministers  to 
joyn  with  them  in  their  own  way,  «S::  still  continue  their  dwelling 
together  in  the  same  town,  they  may  easily  order  the  times  of  the 
publick  assembly,  as  to  attend  constantly  upon  the  ministery  of 
their  former  Church:  &  either  after  or  before  the  publick  assembly 
of  the  parish  take  an  opportunity  to  gather  together  for  the  admin- 
istratio  of  Sacramets,  &  Censures,  &  other  church  ordinances 
amongst  themselves.  The  first  Apostolick  church  assembled  to 
hear  the  word  with  the  Jewish  church  in  the  open  courts  of  the 
Temple:  but  afterwards  gathered  together  for  breaking  of  bread, 
&  other  acts  of  church-order,  from  house  to  house. 

3  Suppose,  Presbyteriall  churches  should  comunicate  some  of 
their  best  gifted  members  towards  the  erecting  &:  gathering  of 
another  church:  it  would  not  forthwith  be  their  detriment,  but 
may  be  their  enlargment.  It  is  the  most  noble  &  perfect  work  of 
a  living  creature  (both  in  nature  &  grace)  to  propagate,  &  multiply 
his  kind:  &  it  is  the  honour  of  the  faithfull  spouse  of  Christ,  to  set 
forward  the  work  of  Christ  as  well  abroad  as  at  home.  The  church 
in  Cant,  the  8.  8.  to  help  forward  her  little  sister-church,  was  will- 
ing to  part  with  her  choyse-materialls,  even  beames  of  Cedar,  & 
such  pretious  living  stones,  as  weer  fit  to  build  a  Silver  pallace.  In 
the  same  book,  the  church  is  compared  sometime  to  a  garden, 
sometime  to  an  orchard.  Cant  4.  12,  13.  No  man  planteth  a  gar- 
den, or  orchard,  but  seeketh  to  get  the  choysest  herbes,  &  plants 
of  his  neighbours,  &  they  freely  impart  them:  nor  doe  they  accout 
it  a  spoyle  to  their  gardens,  &  orchards,  but  rather  a  glory.  Never- 
theless, wee  go  not  so  farr:  we  neither  seek,  nor  ask  the  choyse- 
members  of  the  parishes  but  accept  them  being  offered. 

If  it  be  said,  they  are  not  offered  by  the  Ministers,  nor  by  the 
pai'ish  churches  {ivho  have  most  right  in  thevi)  but  only  by  themselves. 

It  may  justly  be  demaunded,  what  right,  or  what  powr  have 
either  the  ministers,  or  parish  church  over  them?  Not  by  solemn 
church  covenant:  for  that,  though  it  be  the  firmest  engagement, 
is  not  owned,  but  rejected.  If  it  be,  by  [7]  Their  joyning  with  the 
parish,  in  the  calling  &  election  of  a  minister  to  such  a  congrega- 
tion at  his  first  comming,  there  is  indeed  just  weight  in  such  an 
ingagement:  nor  doe  wee  judge  it  safe  for  such  to  remove  from 
such  a  minister,  unless  it  be  upon  such  grounds,  as  may  justly  give 
him  due  satisfactio.  But  if  the  unio  of  such  members  to  a  parish 
Church,  &  to  the  ministery  therof,  be  only  by  cohabitation  within 
the  precincts  of  the  parish,  that  union,  as  it  was  founded  upo  hu- 
mane law:  so  by  humane  law  it  may  easily  be  released.  Or  other- 
wise, if  a  man  remove  his  habitation,  he  removeth  also  the  bond  of 
his  relation,  &  the  ground  of  offence. 


200  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

4  It  need  not  to  be  feared,  that  all  best  hearers  of  the  best 
ministers,  no  nor  the  most  of  them,  will  depart  from  them  upon 
point  of  church-govermet.  Those  who  have  found  the  presence  & 
powr  of  the  spirit  of  Christ  breathing  in  their  ministers,  either  to 
their  conversion,  or  edification,  will  be  slow  to  change  such  a  min- 
istry of  faith,  &  holyness,  for  the  liberty  of  church-order.  Upon 
which  ground,  &  sundry  other  such  like,  their  be  doubtless  sundry 
godly  &  judicious  hearers  in  many  parishes  in  England  that  doe 
&  will  prefer  their  relation  to  their  ministers  (though  in  a  presby- 
teriall  way)  above  the  Congregational!  confoederation. 

5  But  if  all,  or  the  most  part  of  the  best  hearers  of  the  best 
ministers  of  parishes,  should  depart  from  them,  as  prefering  in 
their  judgments,  the  congregationall  way:  yet,  in  case  the  congre- 
gational! way  should  prove  to  be  of  Christ,  it  will  never  greiv  the 
holy  hearts  of  godly  ministers,  that  their  hearers  should  follow 
after  Christ :  yea  many  of  themselves  (upon  due  deliberation)  will 
be  reaedy  to  go  along  with  them.  It  never  greived,  nor  troubled 
John  Baptist,  that  his  best  disciples,  departed  from  him  to  follow 
after  Christ.  Joh.  3.  But  in  case  the  congregationall  way  should 
prove  to  be,  not  the  institution  of  Christ  (as  wee  take  it)  but  the 
invetion  of  men  :  then  doubtless,  the  presbyteriall  form  (if  it  be  of 
God)  will  swallow  up  the  other,  as  Moses  rod  devoured  the  rods  of 
the  Egyptians.  Nor  will  this  put  a  necessity  upon  both  the  oppo- 
site partyes,  to  shift  for  themselves,  &  to  seek  to  supplant  one 
another  :  but  only,  it  will  call  upon  them  dX7]dEvnv  ev  dydmj  to  seek 
&  to  follow  the  trueth  in  love,  to  attend  in  faithfullness  each  uto 
his  own  flock,  &  to  administer  to  them  all  the  holy  things  of  God, 
Si  their  portio  of  food  in  due  season  :  &  as  for  others,  quietly  to 
forbear  them,  &  yet  to  instruct  them  with  meekness  that  are  con- 
trary minded  :  leaving  it  to  Christ  (in  the  use  of  all  good  meanes) 
to  reveal  his  own  trueth  in  his  own  time  :  &  mean  while  endeavour- 
ing to  keep  the  unity  of  the  Spirit  in  the  bond  of  peace.  Philip.  3. 
15,  16.     Ephesians.  4.  3. 

[8]  To  the  2  Exception,  That  wee  take  no  course  for  the 
gayning  &  healing  &  calling  in  of  ignorant,  &:  erronious,  &  scandal- 
ous persos,  whom  wee  refuse  to  receive  into  our  churches  &:  so  ex- 
clude them  from  the  remidy  of  church-disciplie. 

Wee  conceive  the  receiving  of  them  into  our  churches  zvould  rather 
loose  &  corrupt  our  Omrches,  then  gain  &  heale  them.  A  little 
leaven  layed  in  a  lump  of  dough,  will  sooner  leaven  the  zvhole  lump, 
then  the  whole  lianp  will  sweeten  it.  Wee  therefore  find  it  safer,  to 
square  rough  &  imhewen  stones,  before  the[j']  be  layed  into  the  build- 
ing, rather  then  to  hammer  &  hew  them,  zvhen  they  lye  unevenly  in 
the  building. 

And  accordhigly,  two  meanes  {wee  use  to  gayn  &  call  in  siich  as 
arc  ignordt  or  scandalous,  i  The  publick  ministery  of  the  word,  2ipon 
7vhich  they  are  invited  by  counsel,  &  required  by  zvholsome  lawes  to 
attend.  And  the  word  it  is,  which  is  the  powr  of  God  to  salvatioji, 
to  the  calling  &  tvinniiig  of  soules.  2  Private  conference,  &  con- 
viction by  the  Elders,  &  other  able  brethren  of  the  church :  who7n  they 


PREFACE   TO   THE   PLATFORM  20I 

doc  the  more  respectively  hearken  loito,  ichcn  they  see  no  hope  of  en- 
joying church-fclloxcship,  or  participation  in  the  Sacraments  for  them- 
selves, or  their  children,  till  they  approve  their  judgments  to  be  soicnd 
iSf  orthodox,  &  their  lives  subdued  to  some  hope  of  a  godly  conver- 
sation. IVJiat  can  Classical  discipline,  or  excotnunication  it  sclfe  do 
more  in  this  case. 

The  3  Exception  wrappeth  up  in  it  a  three  fold  domestical  in- 
convenience :  &  each  of  them  meet  to  be  eschewed,  i  Disunion 
in  families  between  each  relation  :  2  Disappointmet  of  edificatio, 
for  want  of  opportunity  in  the  governours  of  familyes  to  take  ac- 
cout  of  things  heard  by  their  children  &  servants.  3  Disburs- 
ments  of  chargeable  maintenance  to  the  several  churches,  wherto 
the  several  persons  of  their  familyes  are  joyned. 

All  which  inconveniences  either  do  not  fall  out  in  congregationall- 
churches  ;  or  are  easily  redressed.  For  none  are  orderly  admitted 
into  congregational-churches,  but  such  as  are  icell  approved  by  good 
testimony,  to  be  duly  observant  of  family- relatio)is.  Or  if  any  other- 
wise disposed  shotild  creep  in,  they  are  either  orderly  healed,  or  duly 
removed  in  a  way  of  Christ.  Nor  are  they  admitted,  unless  they 
can  give  some  good  account  of  their  profiting  by  ordinances,  before  the 
Elders  &  brethren  of  the  church:  &  much  more  to  their  par cts,  & 
masters.  Godly  Tutors  in  the  ^adversity  can  take  an  account  of  their 
pupills :  &  godly  housholders  in  the  Citty  can  take  account  of  their 
children  &  servants,  hoiv  they  profit  by  the  word  they  have  heard  in 
several  churches :  &  that  to  the  greater  edification  of  the  zvhole  family, 
by  the  variety  of  S2ich  administrations.  Bees  may  bring  more  hony, 
&  wax  into  the  hive,  when  they  are  not  limited  to  one  garden  of 
flowers,  but  may  fly  abroad  to  tnany. 

Nor  is  any  charge  expected  fro7n  wives,  children,  or  servants  to 
the  maintenance  of  congregationall  churches,  further  then  they  be  fur- 
nished zvith  personall  estates,  or  earnings,  which  may  enable  them  to 
contribute  of  such  things  as  they  have,  &  not  of\(j\  Such  as  they  have 
not.  God  accepteth  not  Robbery  for  a  sacrifice.  And  though  a  godly 
housholder  may  justly  take  himself e  bound  in  conscience,  to  contribute 
to  any  such  Church,  wherto  his  zvife,  or  children,  or  servants  doe  stand 
in  relation :  yet  that  will  not  aggravate  the  burden  of  his  charge,  no 
more  then  if  they  were  received  members  of  the  same  Church  zuherto 
himself  is  related. 

But  why  doe  wee  stand  thus  long  to  plead  exemptions  from  ex- 
ceptio7is9  the  Lord  help  all  his  faith  full  serva?its  {whether  presbyteriall, 
or  co7igregationall)  to  judge  cr'  shame  oicr  selves  before  the  Lord  for 
all  our  former  complyances  to  greater  enormityes  in  Church-govern- 
m,ent,  then  are  to  be  found  either  in  the  congregationall,  or  presbyteriall 
way.  And  then  surely,  either  the  Lord  zuill  cleare  up  his  ozvn  zvillto 
lis,  &  so  fraine,  &  subdue  us  all  to  one  mind,  &  one  zvay,  {Ezek. 
43.  10,  11.)  or  else  wee  shall  learn  to  beare  one  anothers  biwdens  in  a 
spirit  of  meekness.  It  will  then  doubtless  be  farrfrom  us,  so  to  attest 
the  discipline  of  Christ,  as  to  detest  the  disciples  of  Christ :  so  to  con- 
tend for  the  seameless  coat  of  Christ,  as  to  crucifie  the  living  members 
14 


-.r*- 


202  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

of  Christ :  soe  to  divide  our  selves  about  CImrch  communion,  as  throiigh 
breaches  to  open  a  ivide  gap  for  a  deluge  of  Antichristian  &  prophane 
vialignity  to  szi'alloiv  7ip  both  Church  &  civil  state. 

U'Viat  shall  Ti'ee  say  more  f  is  difference  aboiit  Chiwch-order 
beco7n  the  inlett  of  all  the  disorders  in  the  kingdom  f  hath  the  Lord 
indeed  left  us  to  such  hardness  of  heart,  that  Church-government  shall 
become  a  snare  to  Zion,  (as  somtimes  Moses  was  to  yEgypt,  Exod. 
10.  7.)  that  wee  cannot  leave  contestirig  &  contefiding  about  it,  till  the 
kingdom  be  destroyed?  did  not  the  Lord  fesus,  when  he  dedicated  his 
sufferings  for  his  ch7(rch,  &  his  also  nnto  his  father,  make  it  his  earn- 
est &  only  prayer  for  us  in  this  world,  that  zvee  all  might  be  one  in 
hinif  fohn.  17.  20,  21,  22,  23.  Afid  is  it  possible,  that  he  {ivhom 
the  Father  heard  alwayes,  fohn.  11.  42,)  should  not  have  this  last 
most  solemn  prayer  heard,  &  grauntedf  or,  shall  it  be  graunted  for 
all  the  saints  elsezuhcre,  &  not  for  the  saints  iii  England ;  so  that 
amongst  them  dis2inio7i  shall  grow  even  about  Church-tinion,  & 
communion  f  If  it  is  possible,  for  a  little  faith  (so  imich  as  a  grain 
of  mustardseed)  to  remove  a  mountaine :  is  it  not  possible,  for  so  much 
strength  of  faith,  as  is  to  be  found  in  all  the  godly  in  the  kingdom,  to 
remove  those  Images  of  Jealousie,  &  to  cast  those  stumbling-blockes 
out  of  the  way,  which  may  hinder  the  free  passage  of  brotherly  love 
amongst  brethren?  It  is  true  indeed,  the  National  covenant^  doth 
justly  engage  both  partycs,  faithfully  to  endeavour  the  titter  extirpa- 
tion of  the  Antichristid  Hierarchy,  &  much  more  of  all  Blasphonves, 
Heresies,  &  damnable  erroiws.  Certainly,  if  congregatio7ial  disci- 
pline be  Independent  fro77i  the  inv€7itio7is  of  i7ie7i,  is  it  jwt  much  i7iore 
Independent  from  the  dehisions  of  Satan?  rahat  fellowship  hath  Christ 
7i'ith  Belial?  light  zcith  darkfiess?  truetli  with  €7'rour?  The  faith- 
full  lewes  7ieeded  not  the  help  of  the  Samarita7is,  to  [10]  Reed  if y  the 
Tet7iple  of  God :  yea  they  rejected  their  help  whe7i  it  was  offc7-ed. 
Ezra  the  i,  2,  3.  And  if  the  co7ig}-egationall  way  be  a  zvay  of 
tj-ueth  (as  wee  believe)  &  if  the  brethre7i  that  walk  i7i  it  be  zealous 
of  the  trueth,  &  hate  eve/y  false  zvay  (as  by  the  7  ule  of  their  holy  dis- 
cipline they  are  i7ist7'ucted,  2  folm.  10,  11.)  the7i  ve7'ily,  there  is  710 
b7'anch  i7i  the  Nationall  cove7ia7it,  that  e7igageth  the  cove7ia7iters  to  ab- 
hore  either  Co7ig7'egationall  Churches,  or  their  way:  which  being 
duely  ad7}ii7iistred,  doe  710  less  effectually  extirpate  the  A7itichristia7i 
Hie7-archy,  &=  all  Blasphe7nies,  Heresyes,  cr'  pe}7iicious  err  ours, 
tlum  the  other  way  of  disciplijie  doeth,  zvhich  is  7no7-e  generally  & 
publickly  received  &=  7'atifyed. 

But  the  Lord  fesus  coinmune  zvith  all  our  hearts  in  sec7'et:  csr'  he  zvho 
is  the  Ki7ig  of  his  Chu)-ch,  let  hi7n  be  pleased  to  exe7rise  his  Ki7igly 
pozvr  in  our  spirites,  that  so  his  kingdome  7nay  co7ne  i7ito  02ir 
Chu7'ches  i7i  Purity  6"  Peace.      A7ne7i.     A7>ien. 


'  /.   e.   The  Scotch   Covenant,  adopted  by   Parliament,  to  secure  Scotch  aid  in  its  struggle 
with  the  King,  in  Sept.,  1643. 


I 


TEXT   OF   HIE    ELATE 


CHAPTER    I. 

Of  the  form  of  Church-  Government ;    and  that  it  is  one, 
i7nnintable,  and  prescribed  in  the    Word  of  God. 

I 

Ecclesiasticall  Polity  or  Church  Government,  or  clis-  Ezek  43,  n 
cipHne  is  nothing  els,  but  that  Forme  &:  order  that  is  to  i  Vim.  3, 15 
be  observed  in  the  Church  of  Christ  vpon  earth,  both  for 
the   Constitution    of    it,  &   all   the    Administrations    that 
therein  are  to  bee  performed. 

2  Church-Government  is  Considered  in  a  double  re- 
spect either  in  regard  of  the  parts  of  Government  them- 
selves, or  necessary  Circumstances  thereof.     The  parts  of 
Government  are  prescribed  in  the  word,  because  the  Lord  Hebr  3, 5,  6 
lesus  Christ  the  King  and  Law-giver  of  his  Church,  is  no 

less  faithfuU  in  the  house  of  God  then  was  Moses,  who  E.xod  25  40 
from  the  Lord  delivered  a  form  &  pattern  of  Govern-  7.  Tim  3 16 
ment  to  the  Children  of  Israel  in  the  old  Testament:  And 
the  holy  Scriptures  are  now  also  soe  perfect,  as  they  are 
able  to  make  the  man  of  God  perfect  &  thorough-ly  fur- 
nished vnto  euery  good  work  ;  and  therefore  doubtless 
to  the  well  ordering  of  the  house  of  God. 

3  The  partes  of  Church-Government  are  all  of  them  1  Tim  3  is 

I  Chron  15 

exactly    described    m   the    word    of  God  bemg    parts   or  13  Ex  20  4 
means  of  Instituted  worship  according  to  the  second  Com-  v  16   Heb  12 

,  01/-  •  01  27  28.     I  Cor, 

mandement  :  &  therefore   to   contuiue   one  &   the   same,  15  22 
vnto  the  apearing  of  our  Lord  lesus  Christ  as  a  kingdom 
that  cannot  be  shaken,  untill  hee  shall  deliver  it  up  unto 
God,  euen   the   Father.'     Soe   that   it   is   not   left   in   theDeuti2  32. 

Ezek  43  8. 

power  of   men,  ofif"icers,    Churches,   or   any   state    m    the  i  Kings  12. 
world  to  add,  or  diminish,  or  alter  any  .thing  in  the  least 
measure  therein. 

4  The  necessary  circumstances,  as  time  &  place  <^c^..^^^ss'2 
belonging  unto  order  and  decency,  are  not  soe  left  unto  ^^ai  29 13. 


I  The  same  idea  is  e.xpressed,  though  not  in  identical  language,  by  Mather, 
Church-Government  and  Church-Covenant  Discvsst'd,  (answer  to  XXXII  Ques- 
tions,) London,  1643,  P-  83. 


204 


Col  2  22  23 

Acts  15  28 


Matt  15  9 
I  Cor  II  23 
c  8  34- 


1  Cor  14  26 
I  Cor  14  40 
I  Cor  II  14 
I  Cor  II  16 
I  Cor  14  12 
19.  Acts  15 
28. 


YNOD   AND    PLATFORM 


men  as  that  under  pretence  [2 J  of  them,  they  may  thrust 
their  own  Inventions  vpon  the  Churches  :  Being  Circum- 
scribed in  the  word  with  many  General!  limitations  ; 
where  they  are  determined  in  respect  of  the  matter  to 
be  neither  worship  it  self,  nor  Circumstances  seperable 
from  worship.-  in  respect  of  their  end,  they  must  be  done 
vnto  edification  :  in  respect  of  the  manner,  decently,  and 
in  order,  according  to  the  nature  of  the  things  them 
selves,  &  Civill,  &  Church  Custom,  doth  not  euen  nature 
it  selfe  teach  you  ?  yea  they,  are  in  some  sort  determined 
particularly,  namely  that  they  be  done  in  such  a  manner, 
as  all  Circumstances  considered,  is  most  expedient  for 
edification  :  so,  as  if  there  bee  no  errour  of  man  concern- 
ing their  determination,  the  determining  of  them  is  to  be 
accounted  as  if  it  were  divine. 


CHAP  :  II. 


Eph  I  22  23 
&  5  25  26 
30.     Heb  12 
23- 


Rom  8  17. 
2  Tim  2  12 
c  4  8.  Eph 
6  12  13. 


2  Tim  2  ig. 
Rev  217 
I  Cor  6  17. 
Eph  3  17. 
Rom  I,  8 
1  Thes  I  8 
Isay  2,  2 
I  Tim  6  12. 


Acts  19  I 
Colos  2,  5. 


Of  the  naliire  of  the   Catholick   Chiuxh  in   Generall,  &  in 
specially   of  a  particular  visible   Church. 

Thc    Catholick    Church,'    is    the    whole    company    of 
those   that  are  elected,  redeemed,   &  in.  time  effectually 
■  called    from    the    state  of   sin  &  death   vnto   a  state   of 
Grace,  &  salvation  in  lesus  Christ. 

2  This  church  is  either  Triumphant,  or  Militant. 
Triumphant,  the  number  of  them  who  are  Gloryfied  in 
heaven  :  Militant,  the  number  of  them  who  are  conflict- 
ing with  their  enemies  vpon  earth. 

3  This  Militant  Church  is  to  bee  considered  as  In- 
visible, &  Visible.  Invisible,  in  respect  of  their  relation 
wherin  they  stand  to  Christ,  as  a  body  unto  the  head, 
being  united  unto  him,  by  the  spirit  of  God,  tS:  faith  in 
their  hearts  :  Visible,  in  respect  of  the  profession  of 
their  faith,  in  their  persons,  &  in  particular  Churches  : 
&  so  there  may  be  acknowledged  an  universal!  visible 
Church.^ 

4  The  members  of  the  Militant  visible  Church,^  con- 


'  Compare  R.  Alather^  Apologie  .  .  .  for  Ckvrch-Covenant,  London, 
1643,  p.  II. 

2  /.  e..  The  body  of  those  who  outwardly  profess  faith  in  Christ,  viewed  as 
brought  into  one  class  by  that  profession,  but  not  as  thereby  organized  into  one  visible 
body  corporate. 

3  We  may  perhaps  insert  are  io  be  in  conformity  to  the  preceding  paragraph. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  205 

sidered  either  as  not  yet  in  church-order,  or  as  walking  Mams  17. 
according  to  the  church-order  of  the  Gospel.     In  order,' '     "■■  s  " 
(S:    so    besides   the    spiritual    union,  &   communion,    com- 
mon to  all   believers,  they  injoy  more  over  an  union  & 
communion  ecclesiasticall-Political:^     So  wee  deny  an  uni- 
versall  visible  church.^ 

5  The    state   the   members  of    the    Militant    visible  Oen.  18  19 

1  1      r     1  11   •  1  -1  11-  11  Exod :  19  6. 

church  [3J  walking  m  order,  was  either  beiore  the  law, 
Oeconomical,  that  is  in  families  ;  or  under  the  law.  Na- 
tional :  or,  since  the  comming  of  Christ,  only  congre- 
gational:^ (The  term  Independent,  wee  approve  not  :^) 
Therfore  neither  national,  provincial,  nor  classical." 

6  A  Congregational-church,  is  by  the  institution  ofiCor:i4, 2^     ' 

.    .  .      .  I  Cor :  14,  36 

Christ  a  part  of  the  Militant-visible-church,  consisting  of  i  Cor:  i  2. 

I  Cor  :  12  27 

a  company  0/ Saints  by  calling,  united  into  one  body,  byExo:i9  5  6 

-  Deut  :  29  :  I. 

a  holy  covenant,  /or  the  publick  worship  of  God,  &  the  &  9  to  15 
mutuall  edification  one  of  another,  in  the  Fellowship  0/  i  Cor  14  2"6. 
the  Lord  lesus.'' 

CHAP:   III. 

Of  the  viatter    of  the    Visible    Church    Both    inrespect  of 
Quality '<nid  Quantity. 

Thc  matter  0/  a  visible  church  are  Saints  by  calling.*  i,Cor:  i  2 

•'  J  a      Ephe  i  i. 

2     By  Saints,  wee  understand,  Hebr :  6.  i. 

-^  '  '  I  Cor.  I  5. 

I  Such,  as  haue  not  onlv  attained  the  knowledge  of  Ro™-  's  m- 

'  '  ^  Psal  :  50  16- 

the  principles  of  Religion,  &  are  free  from  gros  &  open  ^i-   Act  8  37. 
scandals,   but    also    do    together    with    the    profession    of  Rom.  6 17 
their  faith  &  Repentance,  walk  in  blameles  obedience  to 
the  word,  so  as  that  in  charitable  discretion  they  may  be 


'  /.  ^.,  The  members  of  the  company  of  professed  disciples  of  Christ  on  earth 
are  to  be  considered  in  this  treatise,  not/ as  isolated  believers  but  as  united  in  the  cor- 
porate fellowships  established  by  the  Gospel. 

^  /.  ?.,  This  Gospel-order  implies  the  union  of  Christians  into  local  covenanted 
corporations. 

3  /.  c,  There  is  no  corporate  union  and  communion  of  all  the  professed  followers 
of  Christ,  only  an  association  of  local  churches,  if  by  the  word  church  the  organized 
body  of  believers  is  signified.  Compare  Mather,  Church-Govcrniiicnt  and  Church- 
Covenant  Discvssed,  (Answer  to  XXXII  Questions,)  London,  1643,  pp.  9,  10. 

■•  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  30. 

^  See  Cotton's  reasons  why  the  fathers  of  New  England  disliked  the  name  In- 
dependent, Way  0/ the  Cong.  Churches  Cleared,  p.  11. 

•  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  p.  2. 

'  Compare  Mather,  Apologie     .     .     .    for  Chz'rck-Covenattt,  pp.  3-5. 

*  Compare  Mather,  Church-Government  and  Church-  Jovenant  Discrssed, 
(Answer  to  XXXII  Questions,)  pp.  8,  9. 


206  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

I  Cor.  I  2.         accounted   Saints  by  calling,    (though    perhaps   some    or 
CuiioT'i^!'       more  of  them   be  unsound,  &  hypocrites  inwardly  :)  be- 
cause the  members  of  such  particular  churches  are  com- 
monly by  the  holy  ghost  called  Saints  &  faithfull-  brethren 
Ephes.  I  I.        in  Christ,  and   sundry  churches  haue  been  reproued  for 

1  Cor  5  2  13  .  .       ^    ,, 

Rev.  I  14  15  receiving,  &  suffering  such  persons  to  contmu  m  fellow- 

44.  7&9.  &'  ship  amongst  them,  as   have    been   offensive  &  scandal- 

3j.^^'Nun?29  ous  I  the  name  of  God  also  by  this  means  is  Blasphemed  : 

2  1T14.  ^^^'  &  the  holy  things  of  God  defiled  &  Prophaned.  the  hearts 
29.  "psai.^?  of  godly  grieved  :  &  the  wicked  themselves  hardned  :  & 
e^'iCorV:  holpen  forward  to  damnation,  the  example  of  such  doeth 

'■*■  endanger  the  sanctity  of  others.     A  litle  Leaven  Leaven- 

eth  the  whole  lump, 
ler.  2  21,  2     The  children  of  such,  who  are  also  holy.' 

ier.°i4.^  Gal.  3     The  members  of  churches  though  orderly  consti- 

12'*^!.''  Rev.  tuted,  may  in  time  degenerate,  &  grow  corrupt  &  scan- 
2/2^.'^'  ^  dalous,  which  though  they  ought  not  to  be  tolerated  in 
the  church,  yet  their  continuance  therein,  through  the 
defect  of  the  execution  of  discipline  &  Just  censures, 
doth  not  immediately  dissolv  the  being  of  the  church, 
as  appeares  in  the  church  of  Israeli,  &  the  churches  of 
Galatia  &  Corinth,  Pergamus,  &  Thyatira. 
I  Cor  14  21  [4J   4  The  matter  of  the  Church  in  respect  of  it's  quan- 

tity ought  not  to  be  of  gteater  number  then  may  ordinarily 
Matt  18  17        meet  together  conveniently'   in  one  place  :  nor  ordinarily 
fewer,    then    may    conveniently    carry     on    Church-work. 
Hence  when  the  holy  Scripture  maketh  mention  of  the 
Rom  16  I  Saints  combined  into  a  church-estate,  in  a  Town  or  Citt\\ 

I  Thes  II  .  .  111111 

Rev2  8c3  where  was  but  one  Congregation,  it  usually  calleth  those 
7 


Saints  \the  church\ '  in  the  singular  number,  as  the  church 
of  the  Thessalonians  the  church  of  Smyrna,  Philadelphia, 
&  the  like  :  But  when  it  speaketh  of  the  Saints  in  a  Nation, 
or  Province,  wherin  there  were  sundry  Congregations,  It 
frequently  &  usually  calleth  them  by  the  name  of  churches, 

1  Cor  16  I         in  the  plurall  number,  as  the  \_churches'\  of  Asia,  Galatia, 

2  Cor  8  i.  Macedonia,  &  the  like:   which  is  further  confirmed  by  what 

I  Thes  2,  14  .  .  ,  ^    ,  11-  -11  1 

IS  written  of  sundry  of  those  churches  in  particular,  how  they 
were  Assembled  &  met  together  the  whole  church  in  one 
place,  as  the  church  at  Jerusalem,  the  church  at  Antioch, 


1  Ibid.,  p.  20 

2  Compare  Coti.on's  remarks,  Way  cf  the  CJntrches,  London,  1645,  pp.  53,  54. 

3  [  ]  sic,  and  later. 


TEXT   OF   THE   PLATFORM  207 

the  church  at  Corinth,  &'  Cenchrea,  though  it  were  more  Acts  2  46 
neer  to  Corinth,  it  being  the  port  thereof,  li^  answerable  tOa.'ActsM, 
a  Village,  yet  being  a  distinct  Congregation  from  Corinth,  i^CorV4- 
it  had  a  church  of  its  owne  as  well  as  Corinth  had.'  Rom  16,  i 

5  Nor  can  it  with  reason  be  thought  but  that  every 
church  appointed  &  ordained  by  Christ,  had  a  ministrie 
ordained  &  appointed  for  the  same  :  &  yet  plain  it  is, 
that  there  were  no  ordinary  ofificers  appointed  by  Christ 
for  any  other,  then  Congregational  z\\\xxq\\q's  :  Elders  being 
appointed  to  feed,  not  all  flocks,  but  the  particular  flock  of  Acts  20  28. 
God  over  which  the  holy  Ghost  had  made  them  the  over- 
seers, &  that  flock  they  must  attend,  even  the  whole  flock: 
c*v:  one  Congregation  being  as  much  as  any  ordinary  Elders 
can  attend,  therfore  there  is  no  greater  Church  then  a 
Congregation,  w'hich  may  ordinarily  meet  in  one  place. 

C//AP:    IV. 

Of  the  Form  of  A    Visible  Church   c^  of  Church  Coi-enant. 

Saints  I'x  Callimy;,  must  have  a  Visible-Political-Union  i  Cor  12  27. 

'^  '  _  I  1  im  3  15. 

amon'i-st  themselves,  or  else  they  are  not  yet  a  particular  Ephe  2  22 

"^  ^  .1  Cor  12  IS, 

church.-  as  those  similitudes  hold  forth,  which  Scripture  16  17 
makes  use  [5]  of,  to  shew  the  nature  of  particular  Churches: 
As  a  Body,  A  building,  or  House,  Hands,  Eyes,  Feet,  &=  other 
members  must  be  united,  or  else,  remaining  seperate  are 
not  a  body.  Stones,  Timber,  though  squared,  hewen  & 
poUished,  are  not  an  house,  untill  they  are  compacted  & 
united:  so  Saints  or  believers  in  judgment  of  charity,  are 
not  a  church,  unless  Orderly  knit  together.'^ 

2  Particular  churches  cannot  be  distinguished  one 
from  another  but  by  their  formes.  Fphesus  is  not  Smyrna, 
&  Pergamus  Thyatira,  but  each  one  a  distinct  society  of  it  Rev  i 
self,  having  officers  of  their  owne,  which  had  not  the  charge 
of  others  :  Vertues  of  their  own,  for  which  others  are  not 
praysed  :  Corruptions  of  their  owne,  for  which  others  are 
not  blamed.^ 

^     This   Form  is  the   Visible  G'7r//<?;//,  Agreement,  or  Exod  19  5 
consent  wherby  they  give  up  themselves  unto  the  Lord,  to  Deu  29  12 


»  Compare  Richard  Mather  and  William  Tompson's  Modfst  &=  Brotherly  A  n- 
svver  to  Mr.  Charles  Hcrlc  his  Book,  London,  1644.  pp.  32,  33. 

'Compare  Mather,  Apologie  .  .  .  for  Chvrch-Covcnant,  p.  5;  Church- 
Government:,  p.  39. 

3  Compare  Ibid.,  Apologic.  p.  14. 


208  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

13.  Zachii  the  observing  of  the  ordinances  of  Christ  together  in  the 
same  society,  which  is  usually  called  the  C/ii/rc/i-Covcnaiif  ; 
For  wee  see  not  otherwise  how  members  can  have  CJuirch- 
power  one  over  another  mutually.' 

Ephe2,  19  The  comparing  of  each  particular  church  unto  a  Citt\\ 

2  Cdr  [Cor]  ^  <-.■>! 

a^  unto  a  Spotise,    seemeth  to  conclude  not  only  a  Form, 


II  2 


Gen  17  7.  but  that  that  Form,  is  by  way  of  a  Covenant. 

13.   Ephe  2,  The  Covenant,  as  it  was  that  which  made  the  Family 

^^  ^^  of  Abraham  and  children  of  Israel  to  be  a  church  and  peo- 

ple unto  God,'  so  it  is  that  which  now  makes  the  severall 
societyes  of  Gentil  believers  to  be  churches  in  these  dayes. 

4  This  Voluntary  Agreement,  Consent  or  Covenant  (for 
all  these  are  here  taken  for  the  same):  Although  the  more 
express  &  plain  it  is,  the  more  fully  it  puts  us  in  mind  of 
our  mutuall  duty,  &  stirreth  us  up  to  it,  &  leaveth  lesse 
room /or  the  questioning  of  the  Truth  oy  the  Church-estate 
of  a  Company  of  pro/essors,  &:  the  Truth  of  membership 
0/ particular  persons  :  [6]  ye/ wee  conceive,  the  substance 
of  it  is  kept,  where  there  \s  a  real  Agreement  &  consent, 
of  a  company  of  faithful  persons  to  meet  constantly 
together  in  one  Congregation,  for  the  publick  worship  of 
God,  &  their  mutuall  edification  :   which  real  agreement 

Exod  19  5         &  consent  they  doe  express  by  their  constant  practise  in 
17.   iosh24       comming  together  for  the  publick  worship  of  God,  &  by 

18  to  24  .  .      . 

Psaiso  5  their  religious  subiection  unto  the  ordinances  of  God  there: 

Neh  9  38  c  ,  ,  .  r  1  •  ,  ,  ^       • 

10  I.   Gen        the  rather,  if  wee  doe  consider  how  Scripture  covenants 

17.    Deu  29.         ,  ,  ,     .  ^ 

have  been  entred  into,  not  only  expressly  by  word  of 
mouth,  but  by  sacrifice  ;  by  hand  writing,  &  seal  ;  &  also 
somtimes  by  silent  consent,  without  any  writing,  or  expres- 
sion 0/  words  at  all/ 

5  This  /orme  then  being  by  mutuall  covenant,  it 
followeth,  it  is  not  faith  in  the  heart,  nor  the  profession  of 
that  faith,  nor  cohabitation,  nor  Baptisme;  ^  i  Not  yaith  in 
the  heart?  becaus  that  is  invisible:"  2  not  a  bare  pro/es- 

1/  sion;  because  that  declareth  them  no  more  to  be  members 


1  Compare  Ibid.,  and  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  pp.  2-4. 

2  Compare  Mather,  Apologic,  pp.  10-13. 
5  Compare  Ibid.,  6,  7. 

^  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  36-41 ;  and  Mather,  Chiirch-Governmetit  and  Church- 
Covenant  Discvssed,  (Answer  to  No.  9,  of  the  XXXII  Questions,)  pp.  24-28.  The 
fathers  of  New  England  of  Puritan  education  were  careful  to  maintain  the  churchly 
character  of  English  parish  Assemblies. 

5  Insert  that  constitutes  a  church. 

*  Compare  Mather,  Apologie,  pp.  16-20;  and  Church-Goz'ertnnent,  p.  24. 


TKXr    OK   'I'ili;    IM.AIKORM 


209 


of  one  church  then  of  another:  '  3  not  Cohabitation;  AtJic- 
ists  ox  Infidels  may  dwell  together  with  bcleivers:^  4  not 
Baptism;  because  it  presupposeth  a  church  estate,  as  cir- 
cumcision in  the  old  Testament,  which  gave  no  being  unto 
the  church,  the  church  being  before  it,  &  in  the  wildernes 
without  it.  seals  presuppose  a  covenant  already  in  being, 
one  person  is  a  compleat  subiect  of  Baptism:  but  one  per- 
son is  uncapable  of  being  a  church/ 

6     All  believers  ought,  as  God  giveth  them  oppor- Acts2  47.&9  26. 
tunity  there  unto,  to  endeavour  to  joyn  themselves  unto  &  28 1920/'* '^' 
a  particular  church  (.\:  that  in  respect  of  the  honour  of  87%'^^"^^ 
Jesus  Christ,  in  his  example,  &  Institution,  by  the  pro- ,  fohn  ^3. 
fessed  acknowledgment  of,  &  subiect  ion  unto  the  order  & 
ordinances  of  the  Ciospel:  as  also  in  respect  of  their  good 
of  communion,  founded  upon  their  visible  union,  &  con- 
taind  in  the  promises  of  Christs  special  presence  in  the 
church:  whence  they  have  fellowship  with  him,  &:  in  him 
one  with  an  other:  also,  for  the  keeping  of  them  in  the  Psai  119  last 
way  of  Gods  commandments,  or'  recovermg  of  them  m  Eph  4  16 
case  of  wandrmg,  (which  all  Christs  sheep  are  subiect  to  Matt  18  15  16 17. 
in  this  life),  being  unable  to  returne  of  themselves;   to- 
gether with  the  benefit  of  their  mutual  edification,  and  of 
their  posterity,  that  they  may  not   be   cut  off  from  the 
priviledges  of  the  covenant,  otherwis,  if  a  believer  offends, 
he  remaines  destitute  of  the  remedy  provided  in  that  be- 
half.    &  should  all  believers  neglect  this  duty  of  joyning 
to  all  particular  congregations:  it  might  follow  thereupon, 
that  Christ  should  have  no  visible  political  churches  upon    / 
earth, ^ 

[7] 

CHAP   V.     Of  the  first  subject  of  church  poiar  or,  to  whoin 
church  po7ur  doth  first  lelong.^ 

Thc  first  subject  of  church  powr,  is  eyther  Supream,  Mun  28  is. 
or  Subordinate  <^  Ministerial,     the  Supream  (by  way  of  gift  isaig'e. ' 

r  1/-1  \-  T  IT  ^i-Ai  1,  r-      •  •     1    Jolin  20  21  23. 

from  the  father)  is  the  Lord  lesus  Christ,    the  J\n ntstenal,  1  Cov  n-i2. 


'  Compare  Mather,  Church-Goz'ernvienty  (Answer  to  No.  3,  of  the  XXXII 
Questions,)  pp.  9-1 1. 

"^  Compare  Mather,  Apologicy  pp.  20,  21. 

'  Compare  Ibid.,  32  ;  and  Mather,  Church-Covernjnenty  (.Answer  to  Quest.  4,) 
pp.  12-20. 

<  Ihid.     (Answer  to  Quest.  12,)  pp.  38,  39.  *  Read  helpng. 

•  Compare  Cotton,  Keycs,  pp.  29-31. 


I  Cor  12  29  30. 


210  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

Titus  I  s.  is  either  extraordinary;  as  the  Apostles,  Prophets,  <s^  Evan- 

^''         gilists :^   or   Ordinary;  as  every  particular   Congregational 
church.^ 

2     Ordinary  church  powr,  is  either  the  power  of  ofifice, 
that  is  such  as  is  proper  to  the  eldership:^  or,  power  of 
priviledge,  such  as  belongs  unto  the  brotherhood.*     the 
Rom  12  4  8.        latter  is   in   the  brethren  formally,  &  immediately  from 
4  c  14  23.  Christ,  that  is,  so  as  it  may  according  to  order  be  acted 

or  exercised  immediately  by  themselves:^  the  former,  is 
not  in  them  formally  or  immediately,  and  therfore  cannot 
be  acted  or  exercised  immediately  by  'them,  but  is  said  to 
be  in  them,  in  that  they  design  the  persons  unto  office, 
who  only  are  to  act,  or  to  exercise  this  power." 


CHAP  VI.  ^^-^. 

Of  the  Officers  of  the   Church,   6^  especially  of  Pastors  &= 
Teachers. 

A  Church  being  a  company  of  people  combined  to- 

Actsi4  23         gether  by  covenant  for  the  worship  of  God,  it  appeareth 

therby,  that  there  may  be  the  essence  &  being  of  a  church 

without  any  officers,  seeing  there  is  both  the  form  and 

matter  of  a  church,  which  is  implyed  when  it  is  said,  the 

Rom  10 17         Apostles  ordained  elders  in  every  church, 

ler  3  15. 

I  Cor  12  28.  2     Nevertheless,   though   officers    be    not    absolutely 

Ephe  4  II  7  o 

Psai  68  18.  necessary,  to  the  simple  being  of  churches,  when  they  be 
called:  yet  ordinarily  to  their  calling  they  are,  and  to 
their  well  being:  and  therfore  the  Lord  lesus  out  of  his 
tender  compassion  hath  appointed,  and  ordained  officers 

Eph  4 12  13.  which  he  would  not  have  done,  if  they  had  not  been  use- 
full  &  need  full  for  the  church;  yea,  being  Ascended  into 
heaven,  he  received  gifts  for  men,  and  gave  gifts  to  men, 
whereof  officers  for  the  church  are  Justly  accounted  no 

I  Cor  12  28        small  parts;    they  being  to  continue  to  the  end  of  the 

Eph  4  II  Ga  I  ^  '  ^  => 

Act  8  6  26  19  c  world,  and  for  the  perfecting  of  all  the  Saints. 

Roran  78.  3    The  officers  were  either  extraordinary,  or  ordinary. 


1  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  p.  lo. 
"^  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes,  pp.  31,  32. 

3  Jtid.,  20-23.  ^  Ibid.,  12-19.  *  Ibid.,  33,  34. 

'  Ibid.,   34-37.      Compare   on   whole  paragraph    Mather,   Church-Governtnent 
(Answer  to  Quest.  15),  pp.  47-60. 


TEXT   OF   THE   PLATFORM  211 

extraordinary,  as  Apostles,  Prophets,  Evangilists.^  ordinary 
as  Elders  6^  Deacons? 

[8]  The  Apostles,  Prophets,  6^  Evangelists,  as  they  were  »  Cor  4  9. 
called  extraordinarily  by  Christ,  so  their  office  ended  with 
them  selves  whence  it  is  that  Paul  directing  Timothy  how 

to  carry  along  Church-Administrations,  Giveth  no  direc- ' 'i'™  3 '.  2  v  s 

,  ti)  13 

tion  about  the  choice  or  course  of  Apostles,  Prophets,  orl't'.  s- 

^  '         z        '       j^j.j  20  17  28 

E'l'aiigelists,  but  only  of  Elders  ^^  Deacons.  &  when  /*<?«/ 1  pet  5  1 2  3 
was  to  take  his  last  leave  of  the  church  of  Ephesus,  he 
committed  the  care  of  feeding  the  church  to  no  other,  but 
unto  the  Elders  of  that  church.     The  like  charge  doth'pT^s^ 
Peter  commit  to  the  Elders.  ■^"?^°  '728. 

I   1  im  5  17. 

4  Of  Elders  (who  are  also  in  Scripture  called  Bishops) 
Some  attend  chiefly  to  the  ministry  of  the  word,  As  the  Pas- 
tors &"  Teachers     Others,  attend  especially  unto  Pule,  who  F-ph  4  " 

Rom  12  7  8. 

are  therfore  called  Puling  Elders?  i  Cor  12  s 

5  The  office  of  Pastor  6^  Teacher,  appears  to  be  dis- 
tinct. The  Pastors  special  work  is,  to  attend  to  exhortation  : 
&  therein  to  Administer  a  word  of  IVisdoin :  the  Teacher 
is  to  attend  to  Doctrine,  c^  therein  to  Administer  a  word 

of  Knowledg  :*  Sz  either  of  them  to  administer  the  Scales  of  ?j-i['["^'*  '  ^• 
that  Covenant,  unto  the  dispensation  wherof  the^  are  alike 
called:  as  also  to  execute  the  Censures,  being  but  a  kind 
of  application  of  the  word,  the  preaching  of  which,  to- 
gether with  the  application  therof  they  are  alike  charged  ^p^  4  ^'^i  ^12 
withall." 

6  And  for  as  much  as  both  Pastors  a^  Teachers  are 
given  by  Christ  for  the  perfecting  of  the  Saints,  &  edify- 
ing of  his  body,  which  Saints,  &  body  of  Christ  is  his 
church;  Therfore  wee  account  Pastors  &^  Teachers  to  be 

both  of  them   church-officers;   &   not  the  Pastor  for  the  J^^am  10 12  v  19 
church:  &  the   Teacher  only  for  the  Schools,  Though  this  ^  "^'"s  2  3  v  15, 
wee   gladly  acknowledg,   that   Schooles  are   both    lawful!, 
profitable,  &  necessary  for  the  trayning  up  of  such  in  good 
Litrature,  or  learning,  as  may  afterwards  be  called  forth 
unto  office  of  Pastor  or  Teacher  in  the  church. 


'  Compare  Cotton,  Way  0/  the  Churches,  p.  lo. 
'*  Ibid.  3  Ibid.y  pp.  lo,  14. 

* /bid.,  11-13;  and  Mather,   Church-Government  (.\nswer  to  Quest.  22),  pp. 
74-76. 

*  Read  they,  see  errata.  'Compare  Mather,  Ibid.,  74,  75. 


212  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

CHAP  VII.     Of  Riding  Elders  6-  Deacons., 
Rom  12  7  8  9.  Tmq,  Rulinsr  Elders^  office  is   distinct  from  the  office 

I   1  im  5.  17.  '^^ 

I  Cor  12  28.  of  Pastor  &=  Teacher.  The  Ruling  Elders  are  not  so  called 
to  exclude  the  Pastors  &=  Teachers  from  Ruling,  but  be- 
cause Ruling  6^  Governing  is  common  to  these  with  the 

Hebi3i7  other;  wheras  attending  to  teach  and  preach  the  word 

I  Tim  =;  17  . 

is  peculiar  unto  the  former. 

1  Tim  5, 17.  2     T\\^  Ruling  Elders  wox"^  is  to  joyn   with  \\\^  Pas- 

tor &^  Teacher  in  those  acts  of  spiritual  Rule  [9]  which 
are  distinct  from  the  ministry  of  the  word  &  Sacraments 
committed  to  them,     of  which  sort,  these  be,  as  follow- 

2  chro.  23  19.     eth.^     I  to  open  c^  shutt  the  dores  of  Gods  house,  bv  the 

Rev.  21   12.  -^  '       -^ 

I  Tim  4. 14        Admission  of  members  approved  by  the  church:  by  Ordina- 

Matt  18  17.  i.  I  J  J 

■2  Cor  2  7, 8        tion  of  officers  chosen  by  the  church  :  &  by  excomniuni- 

Acts  2. 6  .  .  -^      .  •' 

cation  of  notorious  &   obstmate  offenders    renounced   by 

the  church:  &  by  restoring  of  poenitents,  forgive  by  the 

Acts2i.  18 22,23.  Qi^m.Q}-,_     11  To  call   the   church   together  when  there  is 

occasion,  &  seasonably  to  dismiss  them  agayn.     Ill  To 

prepare  matters  in  private,  that  in  publick   they  may  be 

carried  an  end  with  less  trouble,  &  more  speedy  dispatch. 

IV    To  moderate  the  carriage  of  all  matters  in  the  church 

assembled,  as,    to   propound   matters    to    the    church,  to 

Acts  6. 2, 3  c  13,  Qj.^^j.  i-j-jg  season  of  speech  &:  silence;   &  \.o pronounce  sen- 

He^is.'?"!?      tence  according  to  the  minde  of  Christ,   with    the    con- 

2Thes2.ioii,i2ggj-,t   of  thg   church.     V  To  be   Guides  ^^  Leaders  to   the 

church,  in  all  matters   what-soever,  pertaining  to  church 

administrations  &:  actions.     VI  To  see  that  none   in  the 

church  live  inordinately  out  of  rank  &  place  ;  without  a 


'  Of  all  church  offices  in  early  New  England  practice  none  were  so  much  the 
subjects  of  discussion  as  the  ruling  eldership.  Of  no  office  was  the  theoretic  necessity 
more  stoutly  maintained,  and  yet  none  was  so  speedily  abandoned  in  practice.  A  mo- 
ment's examination  of  the  catalogue  of  duties  here  enumerated  will  show  in  large 
measure  the  reason  of  this  neglect  of  the  office.  The  functions  are  such  as  would 
tend  to  ill-feeling  and  they  are  not  counter-balanced  by  any  ordinary  share  in  the 
more  pleasing  duties  of  preaching  the  word.  In  the  Barrowist  Congregationalism  of 
the  day,  the  ruling  elder  trenched  on  matters  which  Modern  Congregationalism  has 
left  some  to  the  brethren,  others  to  the  minister.  He  occupied  a  position  between 
the  minister  and  the  brethren  sure  to  be  full  of  embarrassment  and  of  no  real  use. 
See  I.  N.  Tarbo.x,  Ruling  Elders  in  the  Early  N.  E.  C/ts.,  Cong.  Quarterly,  XIV: 
401-416  (July,  1872). 

The  divine  institution  and  antiquity  of  the  ruling  eldership  is  argued  at  length 
by  Cotton,  Jl'ay  of  the  Chtirches,  pp.  13-33. 

2  The  duties  here  enumerated  as  belonging  to  the  ruling  elders  are  given  by 
Cotton,  Ihiii.,  36,  37,  in  language  so  similar  that  the  passage  must  have  been  under 
Mather's  eye  as  he  wrote  this  chapter,  unless  Cotton  himself  wrote  it.  Mather's  orig- 
inal draft  was  much  fuller. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  213 

calling,  or  Idlely  in  their  calling.     VII  To /;rzY'«/ &  heal  Acts2o,  28  V32. 
such  offences  in  life,  or  in  doctrin;  as  might  corrupt  the 
church.      IIX  To  feed  the   flock  of  Ood  with  a  word   of'Thess.  12 

-'  Jam.  5.  14 

admouitioii.     IX  And  as  they  shall  be  sent  for,  to  visit,  &  ^""°- ^o 
to//7?j'  over  their  sick  brethren.     X  &  at  other  times  as 
opportunity  shall  serve  therunto. 

'    X     The  office  of  a  Deacon  is  Instituted  in  the  church  ^ctse.  3.  v6 

^  Phil  I.  1 

bv  the  Lord  Tesus.     somtime  they  are  called  Helps?  i  jim  3.  s 

■'  ^  -^  1  Cor  12,  28 

The  Scripture  telleth  us,  how  they  should  be  quali- 1  Tim  38, 9. 
fied:   Grave,  not  double  tongued,  not  given  to  much  to  wine,  not 
given  to  filthy  lucre,     they  must  first  be //7;7'<;'</  &  then  use 
the  office  of  a  Deacon,  being  found  Blameless. 

The  office  and  work  of  the  Deacons^  is  to  receive  the  Acts  4, 35,06. 2, 
offrings  of   the  church,  gifts  given  to  the  church,   &   to  ' 
keep   the  treasury  of   the   church:  &  therewith  to  serve 
the    Tables  which  the  church    is   to   provide    for  :  as  the 
Lords  Table,  the  table   of  the  ministers,  &:   of  such   as   are  Rom  12.  8 
in  necessitie,  to  whom  they  are  to  distribute  in  simplicity. 

4  The   office  therefore  being  limited  unto  the  careiCoryi;. 
of  the  temporall   good   things  of  the  church,   it   extends 

not  unto  the  attendance  upon,  &  administration  of  the 
spirituall  things  thereof,  as  the  word,  and  Sacraments,  or 
the  like. 

5  The  ordinance  of  the  Apostle,  &  practice  of  the  i  Cor  16,  i,  2,  3 
church,   commends    the   Lords  day  as  a  fit    time    for   the 
contributions  of  the  Saints. 

riol  6  Thelnstitutingof  all  these  officers  in  the  Church,  I  Cor  12. 28 

'        -■  *  '  Eph  4,  8,  II 

is  the  work  of  God  himselfe  ;  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  ;  Acts  20, 28 
of  the  holy  Ghost.  «S:  there/ore  such  officers  as  he  hath 
not  appointed,  are  altogether  unlawfull  either  to  be  placed 
in  the  church,  or  to  be  retained  therin,  &  are  to  be  looked 
at  as  humane  creatures,  meer  Inventions  &  appointments 
of  man,  to  the  great  dishonour  of  Christ  Jesus,  the  Lord 
of  his  house,  the  King  of  his  church,  whether  Popes, 
Patriarkes,  Cardinals,  Arch-bishops,  Lordbishops,  Arch-dea- 
cons, Officials,  Commissaries,  &:  the  like.  These  &  the  rest 
of  that  Hierarchy  &:  Retinue,  not  being  plants  of  the  Lords  ^la"  '5. 13 
planting,  shall  all  be  certeinly  be^  rooted  out,  &  cast 
forth. 


'  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches^  p.  38. 

"^  The  paragraphs  describing  the  duties  of  deacons  closely  follow  the  description 
given  by  Cotton,  Ibid.,  which  Mather  had  before  him. 
'  Omitted  in  errata. 


214  THE   CAxMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

I  Tim  5, 9,  lo.  7     The  Lord  hath  appointed  ancient  widdoii's,  (where 

they  may  be  had)  to  minister  in  the  church,  in  giving 
attendance  to  the  sick,  &  to  give  succour  unto  them,  & 
others  in  the  like  necessities.' 

CHAP  :  IIX. 

Of  the  Election  of  Church-Officers. 

Hebs,  4  No   man   may  take  the   honour  of   a  Church-Ofificer 

unto  himself,  but  he  that  was  called  of  God,  as  was  Aaron.^ 

Gaiat  I,  I  2     Calling;  unto  office  is  either  Immediate,  by  Christ 

Acts  14.  23  "^  ^        •' 

cap  6.  3  himself:  such  was  the  call  of  the  Apostles,  &  Prophets: 

this  manner  of  calling  ended  with  them,  as  hath  been 
said:'  ox  Mediate,  by  the  church/ 

I  Tim  5. 22  ^     It  is  meet,  that  before  any  be  ordained  or  chosen 

cap  7,  10  ■^  '  ^ 

Acts  16. 2  officers,   they   should  first    be    Tryed  (^  proved;    because 

hands  are  not  suddenly  to  be  laid  upon  any,^  &  both 
Elders  6'^  Deacons  must  be  of  honest  &  good  report. 

4  The  things  in  respect  of  which  they  are  to  be 
Ti-yed,  are  those  gifts  l^  virtues  which  the  Scripture  re- 
quireth  in  men,  that  are  to  be  elected  into  such  places. 
z'iz,  that  Elders  must  be  blameless,  sober,  apt  to  teach,  & 
endued  with  such  other  qualifications  as  are  layd  downe, 
I  Tim  :  3  &  2.  Tit  :  i,  6  to  9.  Deacons  to  be  fitted,  as  is 
directed,  Acts.  6,  3.     i  Tim  :  3.  8,  to  11." 

Act  14  23.  CI.  r     Officers    are    to  be  called  by  such  Churches,   where 

23.     c  6.  3.  4.   5.  '^  •' 

unto  they  are  to  minister,  of  such  moment  is  the  preser- 
vation of  this  power,  that  the  churches  exercised  it  in 
the  presence  of  the  Apostles.' 

^^'^'^^     ,  6     A  church  being /r^'d' cannot  become  j-^/^^Vr/ to  any, 

but  by  a  free  election;  [11]  Yet  when  such  a  people  do 
chuse  any   to  be   over   them  in  the   Lord,  then   do  they 

Hebr.  13, 17  bccom  subjcct,  &  most  willingly  submit  to  their  min- 
istry in  the  Lord,  whom  they  have  so  chosen. 


1  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches^  p.  39. 

2  Compare  Mather  and  Tompson,  Modest  &^  Brotherly  Answer,  p.  57. 

3  Ibid. 

^  Ibid.,  55-58.  Compare  Mather,  Church-Govermnent,  (Answer  to  Quest.  20,) 
pp.  67,  68. 

^  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  p.  39.  See  also  the  Modest  &=  Broth- 
erly Answer,  p.  51. 

'  Way  of  the  Churches,  p.  39.  Here  again  the  writer  must  have  had  Cotton's 
work  before  him. 

''  Compare  Mather  and  Tompson,  Modest  df  Brotherly  A  nsvver,  pp.  55,  56. 


TEXT   OF   TPIE   PLATFORM  21 5 

7  And  if  the  church  have  powr  to  chuse  their  offi-  Rom.  16, 17 
cers  &  ministers,  then  in  case  of  manifest  unworthyness, 

&  delinquency  they  have  powr  also  to  depose  them.'  For 
to  open,  &  shut:  to  chuse  &  refuse  ;  to  constitute  in 
office,  &  remove  from  office  :  are  acts  belonging  unto 
the  same  powr. 

8  Wee  judge  it  much  conducing  to  the  wel-being,  &  Cant.  8,8,9 
communion  of  churches,  that  where  it  may  conveniently  | 
be  done,  neighbour-churches  be  advised  witha/l,  &  their  help  ' 
made  use  of  in  the  triall  of  church-officers,  in  order  to 

their  choyce."'' 

9  The  choyce  of  such  Church-officers  belongeth  not 
to  the  civil-magistrates,  as  such,  or  diocesan-bishops,  or 
patrones :  for  of  these  or  any  such  like,  the  Scripture 
is  wholly  silent,  as  having  any  power  therin. 

CHAP  :  IX. 

Of  Ordination,  6^  Imposition  of  hands. 
CHurch-oificers    are    not    only    to    be    chosen    by  the  Acts.  13, 3 

cap  14,  23 

Church,  but  also  to  be  ordeyned  hy  Imposition  of  hands,  ^■''^'^m.  5,22 
prayer.^    with  which  at  ordination  of  Elders, /^'i-//;;^'- also 
is  to  be  joyned.'' 

2     This  ordination  wee  account  nothing  else,  but  the  ■\''""^;^' '° 

*  '  Act.  6,  5,  6 

solemn   putting  of  a  man  into   his  place  &  office  in  the^P's.  2. 3 
Church  wher-unto  he  had  right  before  by  election,  being 
like  the  installing  of  a  magistrat  in  the  common  wealth." 

Ordination    therefore    is    not    to    go    before,    but    to  Acts.  6. 5. 6 

cap  14.  23 

follow  election.  The  essence  &  substance  of  the  outward 
calling  of  an  ordinary  officer  in  the  Church,  doth  not 
consist  in  his  ordination,  but  in  his  voluntary  <!v:  free 
election  by  the  Church.  tS:  in  his  accepting  of  that  election. 


■  Compare  Davenport,  A>is-ver  .  .  .  iittio  A'l'tif  Positions,  London,  1643, 
pp.  76,  77,  (Position  7). 

*  Compare  Cotton,  }i'ay  0/ the  Churches.,  pp.  40,  45. 
^  Compare  Ibid.,  40-42- 

*  "  For  our  calling  of  Deacons,  we  hold  it  not  necessary  to  ordaine  them  with 
like  solemnitie,  of  fasting  and  prayers,  as  is  used  in  the  Ordination  of  Elders."  Ibid., 
42.  It  was  sufficient  that  they  should  be  ordained  by  the  hands  and  prayers  of  the 
ministers  of  the  local  church  without  a  public  invitation  of  neighboring  churches,  etc. 

'  From  Mather,  Ckurch-Governwcnt,  (Answer  to  Quest.  20,)  p.  67.  Compare 
the  Modest  b'  Brotherly  A  nsvzcr,  p.  47. 


2l6  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

wher-upon  is  founded  the  relation  between  Pastor  & 
flock,  between  such  a  minister,  &  such  a  people/ 

Ordination  doth  not  constitute  an  officer,  nor  give 
him  the  essentials  of  his  office.  The  Apostles  were 
elders,  without  Imposition  of  hands  by  men:  Paul  &^ 
Barnabas  were  officers,  before  that  Imposition  of  hands. 
Acts.  13.  3.^^  The  posterity  oi^Levi  were  Preists,  & 
[12]  Levits,  before  hands  were  laid  on  them  by  the 
Children  of  Israel. 
I  Tim  4 14  t     In  such  Churches  where  there  are  Elders,  Impo- 

Acts  \^.  ■x 

I  Tim  5.  22        sition  of  hands  in  ordmation  is  to  be  performed  by  those 
Elders.^* 

4  In    such    Churches    where    there    are    no    Elders, 
Numbs.  10        Imposition  of  hands   may   be   performed   by  some   of  the 

Brethren  orderly  chosen  by  the  church  therunto.  For 
if  the  people  may  elect  officers  which  is  the  greater, 
&  wherin  the  substance  of  the  Office  consists,  they  may 
much  more  (occasion  &  need  so  requiring)  impose  hands 
in  ordination,  which  is  the  less,  &  but  the  accomplishment 
of  the  other.^ 

5  Nevertheless  in  such  Churches  where  there  are 
no  Elders,  &  the  Church  so  desire,  wee  see  not  why 
Imposition  of  hands  may  not  be  performed  by  the  Elders 
of  other  Churches.^  Ordinary  officers  laid  hands  upon  the 
officers    of   many    Churches:    the    presbytery   of   Ephesiis 

I  Tim  4  14         layd  hands  upon  Timothy  an  Evangelist.     The  presbytery 

Acts.  13,  3 

at  Antioch  laid  hands  upon  Paul  &  Barnabas. 
I  Pet.  5. 2  6     Church  Officers.,  are  officers   to  one   church,  even 

that  particular,  over  which  the  Holy  Ghost  hath  made 
them  overseers.  Insomuch  as  Elders  are  comanded  to> 
•  feed,  not  all  flocks,  but  that  flock  which  is  comitted  to 
their  faith  &  trust,  &  dependeth  upon  them.'  Nor  can 
costant   residence  at  one   cogregation,  be  necessary  for 


'  Compare,  Church-Government.,  68  ;  and  Mather,  Reply  to  Mr.  Ruther/urdy 
London,  1647,  pp.  102,  103. 

*  Compare  the  Reply.,  etc.,  pp.  104-106. 

3  Mather,  Churck-Goverfztnent  (Answer  to  Quest.  21),  pp.  68,  6g,  74.     Compare 
Mather  and  Tompson,  Modest  dr"  Brotherly  A  nsvver,  pp.  45,  49. 

*  Mather,  Church-Government  (Answer  to  Quest.  21),  pp.  69-74,     Mather  and 
Tompson,  Modest  df  Brotherly  A  nswer,  pp.  45-53. 

5  Ibid.,  46,  48,  49,  53:  Mather,  Reply  to  Mr.  Rutherfurd,  p.  94.     Cotton  dis- 
sented. Way  of  the  Churches^  pp.  50,  51. 

*  Modest  b'  Brotherly  A  nswer,  45,  54. 
'  Ibid.,  48. 


n 


TEXT    OF   THE    rLATFORM  217 

a  minister,  no   nor  yet  lawfull,  if  he   be  not  a  minister 
to  one   cogregation   only,   but  to   the   church   universall: 
[because  he  may  not  attend  one  part  only  of  the  church.  Acts 20. 28 
wherto  he  is  a  minister,  but  he  is  called  to  attend  unto 
all  the  flock. 

7.  Hee  that  is  clearly  loosed  from  his  office-relation 
unto  that  church  wherof  he  was  a  minister,  canot  be 
looked  at  as  an  officer,  nor  perform  any  act  of  0_^ce  in 
any  other  church,  vnless  he  be  again  orderly  called  unto 
Office :  which  when  it  shall  be,  wee  know  nothing  to  hinder, 
but  Imposition  of  hands  also  in  his  Ordination  ought  to 
be  used  towards  him  again.'  For  so  Paul  the  Apostle 
received  Imposition  of  hands  twice  at  least,  from  Ananias. 
Acts.  9.  17.  &  Acts.  13,  3. 

CHAP  X. 

Of  the  po7C'f-  of  the  Church,  c^  its  Presbytery. 
Supream    &    Lordly  power    over    all    the    Churches  Psai  2.  e 

Eph  I.  21,  22 

upon  earth,  doth  only  belong  unto  Jesus  Christ,  who  isisayg.  6 
King  of  the   church,  &  the  head   therof.     He  hath  the 
(iovernmet   upon   his  shoulders,   &:   hath   all    powr  given 
to  him,  both  in  heaven  &  earth. '^ 

[13]   2  A  Copany  of  professed  believers  Ecclesiastically 
Confu'derat,  as  they  are  a  church  before  they  have  officers, 
&  without  them;  so  even  in  that  &s\.dit&, subordinate  Church- 
power  wnd&r  Christ  deligated  to  them  by  him,  doth  belong  Am  i.  23 
to  them,  in  such  a  maner  as  is  before  expressed.     C.  5.  S.c-.  6.3,4 
2.  &  as  flowing  from  the  very  nature  &  Essece  of  a  church:  i  co."  5. 4, 5 
It  being  naturall  to  all  bodyes,  &  so  unto  a  church  body, 
to  be  furnished  with  sufficient  powr,  for  its  own  preser- 
vatio  &  subsistace. 

3  This  Government  of  the  church,  is  a  mixt  Gover- 
ment  (&  SQ  hath  been  acknowledged  long  before  the 
term  of  Indepedency  was  heard  of:)  In  respect  of  Christ, 
the  head  &  King  of  the  church,  &  the  Soveraigne  power 
residing  in  /nm,  &  exercised  by  him,  it  is  a  Monarchy:  In  Rev:  3.7 

°  '  -^  '  I  Cor  5.  12 

respect  of  the  body,  or  Brotherhood  of  the  church,  &  powr 

from  Christ  graunted  unto  them,  it  resembles  a  Democracy,  i  I'im  $■  17 


1  See  Mather,  Church-Government  (.Answer  to  Quest.  21),  pp.  69,  70.     Compare 
Davenport,  Anstver    .     .     .     unto  Nine  Positions,  pp.  76,  77  (Position  7). 
■■*  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes,  29,  30. 
15 


21 8  THE    CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

In  respect  of  the  Prcsbyetry  &  powr  comitted   to   them, 
it  is  an  Aristocracy.^ 

4  The  Soveraigne pozv?i\N\\\c\\  is  peculiar  unto  Chrigt, 
is  exercised,     I     In  calling  the  church  out  of  the  world 

Gal  1. 4.  unto    holy   fellowship   with   himselfe.      II     In    institutinof 

Rev  5.  8,  g  .    -_  .   ^  .  .  ^ 

Matt  28. 2o        the  ordinaces  of  his  worship,  &  appointino^  his  ministers 

Eph   4.   8.    12  ^  rr-  r  •  ... 

Jam  4. 12  &  officers   for  the   dispensmg  of  them.'^     Ill     In   givino- 

lawes  for  the  ordering  of  all  our  wayes,  &  the  wayes  of 

1  Tim  3, 15        his  house:  ^     IV     In  giving  powr  &  life  to  all  his  Insti- 

2  Cor  10.  4,  5  C5  o    X 

Luke^r  \  tutions,  &  to  his  people  by  them.  V  In  protectig  & 
delivering  his  church  against  &  from  all  the  enemies  of 
their  peace. 

5  The  power  graunted  by  Christ  unto  the  body  of 
the  church  &  Brotherhood,  is  a  prerogative  or  priviledge 
which  the  church  doth  exercise:  I  In  Choosing  their 
own  ofificers,  whether  Elders,  or  Deacons.^  II  In  admission 
of  their  own  members  &:  therfore,  there  is  great  reason 

Acts  6. 3,  s        they  should  have  power  to  Remove  any  from  their  fellow- 

09^26^  ship  again.     Hence   in  case  of  offence  any  one  brother 

hath  powr  to  convince  &  Admonish  an  offending  brother: 

Matt  18. 15,       &  in  case  of  not  hearing  him,  to  take  one  or  two  more  to 
16, 17  ... 

sett  on  the  Admonitio,  &  in  case  of  not  hearing  them,  to 

proceed  to  tell  the  church:  (Is:  as  his  offence  may  require 

Tit  3. 10  the  whole  church   hath  powr  to  proceed   to  the  publick 

Coll  4.  17 

Mat  18. 17         Censure   of  him,  whether  by  Admonition,  or  Excomiinica- 

,'2  Cor  2.  7,  8  .  _  ,  .  ,   . 

V  tion :  &  upon  his  repentance  to  restore  him  againe  unto 

his  former  cSmunion.^ 

6     In  case  an  Elder  offend  incorrigibly,  the  matter 

so  requiring,  as  the  church  had  powr  to  call  him  to  office, 

C0II04. 17         so  they  have  powr  according  to  order  (the  counsell  of 

other  churches  where   it   may  be   had,  directing  therto" 

to  remove  him  fro  his  Office:'  &:  beig  now  but  a  meber, 


'  Quoted  in  substance  by  Mather,  Chtirch-Government  (Answer  to  Quest.  15), 
p.  51  from  Cartwright. 

*  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes^  30.  '      ^  Compare  Ibid. 

*  Compare  Ibid.,  p.  12. 

6  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  13-15  ;  and  ]Vay  0/  the  Churches,  89-92.  «  Insert  ). 

'  This  subject  is  one  on  which  Mather  was  more  positive  than  Cotton.  The 
•atter  in  the  Keycs  (1644),  pp.  16,  17,  held  that  when  all  the  ministry  of  a  church  were 
culpable  the  church  could  not  excommunicate  them,  having  no  officers  for  the  purpose; 
but  only  withdraw  from  them.  But  by  the  time  of  the  publication  of  the  Way  0/ the 
Chvrches  (1645),  p.  loi.  Cotton  had  so  far  modified  his  views  as  to  take  substantially 
the  position  here  given,  and  asserted  the  right  of  the  church  to  discipline  all  its  minis- 
try. Davenport,  Answer  .  .  .  unto  Nine  Positions,  p.  77,  agreed  with  the  Plat- 
form. Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  43,  suggested  that  in  case  all  the  elders  of  a  church  offended 
the  "  readiest  course  is,  to  bring  the  matter  then  to  a  Synod,"  i.  e.  council. 


TEXT   OF   THE    rLATEOR.M 


219 


in- case  he  add  cotumacy  to  his  sin,  [14]   the  Church  that  Matt.  is.  17 
had  powr  to  receive  him  into  their  fellowship,  hath  also 
the  same  powr  to  cast  him  out,  that  they  have  concerning 
any  other  member. 

7  Church-government,  or  Rule,  is  placed  by  Christ  K'^™-  s-  '7 

'  "  T  i.  J  Hebr.  13.  17 

in   the  officers  of  the  church,  who  are   therefore  called  '  'i'^<=s.  5, 12 
Rulers^  while  they  rule  with  God:  yet  in  case  of  mal-ad- 
mimstration,  they  are  subject  to  the  power  of  the  church, 
according   as    hath    been   said    before,     the    Holy   Ghost  Rpiy- 12-  8 

I  Tim.  5.  17 

frequently,    yea    alwayes,    where    it    mentioneth    Church- 1  Cnr.  12. 2829. 

Rule,  &  church-government,  ascribeth  it  to  Elders:  wheras 

the  work  &  duty  of  the  people  is  expressed  in  the  phrase 

of  obeying  their  Elders;  and  submiting  themselves  unto 

them  in  the  Lord:  so  as  it  is  manifest,  that  an  organick 

or  compleat  church  is  a  body  politick,  consisting  of  some 

that   are   Governors,  &  some  that  are  governed,  in  the 

Lord.' 

8  The   powr   which    Christ    has   committed    to    the  Acts.  20. 28 

cap  6.  2 

Elders,  is  to  feed  &  rule  the  church  of  God,°  &  accord-  Num.  16. 12 
ingly    to    call    the    church    together    upon    any    weighty  Acts.' 13.' 15 
occasion,^  when  the  members  so  called,  without  just  cause, 
may  not  refuse  to  come:  nor  when  they  are  come,  depart  Hosh,  4. 4. 
before  they  are  dismissed:  nor  speak  in  the  church,  before 
they  have  leave  from  the  elders:  nor  continue  so  doing, 
when  they  require  silence,*  nor  may  they  oppose  nor  con- 
tradict the  judgment  or  sentence  of  the   Elders,  without 
sufficient    &   weighty   cause,    becaus   such    practices   are 
manifestly  contrary  unto  order,  (Sc  government,  &   in-lets 
of  disturbance,  &  tend  to  confusion.^ 

Q     It  belongs  also  unto  the  Elders  to  examine  any  Rey.  2. 2 

^  ^  .  ^    I  1  im.  5.  19 

officers,    or    members,    before    thev    be    received    of    the  Acts.  21.  is  22, 

23 
church:"    to    receive    the    accusations    brought    to    the  i  Cor.  5. 4, 5 

Church,  &  to  prepare   them   for  the   churches  hearing.' 

\\\    handling    of    offences    &    other    matters    before    the 

Church  they  have  powr  to  declare  &  publish  the  Counsell  ^'"'"•6-23. '026. 

&    will    of    God    touching    the    same,    &:    to    pronounce 

sentence  with  the  consent  of  the  Church:*     Lastly  they 


'  Compare  Mather,  Ckttrch-Governinent  (Answer  to  Quest.  15),  pp.  47-60;  Cot- 
ton, Keyes,  pp.  20-23  ;   W^^^'  0/  the  Churches,  pp.  96-102. 
'  Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  20. 
'  Mather,  Church-Government,  57;  Cotton,  Keycs,  21;  Way  0/ the  Churches,  loi. 

*  Mather,  IHd.     Cotton,  Ibiii.,  Ibid.         ^  Compare  Mather,  Ibid.,  58. 

*  Cotton,  Keyes,  21.  '  Ibid.,  22.  *'  Ibid. 


220  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

have  powr,  when  they  dismiss  the  people,  to  bless  them 
in  the  name  of  the  Lord.' 

10  This  powr  of  Government  in  the  Elders,  doth 
not  any  wise  prejudice  the  powr  of  priviledg  in  the 
brotherhood;  as  neither  the  powr  of  priviledg  in  the 
brethren,  doth  prejudice  the  power  of  government  in  the 

Acts.  14.  IS  ve.    Elders;  but  they  may  sweetly  agree   together,     as  wee 

1  Cor.  5. 4         j-na^y  ggg  in  the  example  of  the  Apostles  furnished  with 

2  Cor.  2.  6,  7  -^  ^ 

the  greatest  church-powr,  who  took  in  the  concurrence 
&  consent  of  the  brethren  in  church-administrations. 
[15]  Also  that  Scripture,  2  Cor  2.  9.  &  chap  10:  6  doe 
declare,  that  what  the  churches  were  to  act  &  doe  in 
Hebr.  13.  17  these  matters,  they  were  to  doe  in  a  way  of  obedience,  & 
that  not  only  to  the  direction  of  the  Apostles,  but  also  of 
their  ordinary  Elders.^ 

11  From  the  premisses,  namely,  that  the  ordinary 
powr  of  Government  belonging  only  to  the  elders,  powr  of 
priviledg  remaineth  with  the  brotherhood,  (as  powr  of  judg- 
ment in  matters  of  censure,  &  powr  of  liberty,  in  matters 
of  liberty:)  It  followeth,  that  in  an  organick  Church,  & 
right  administration;  all  church  acts,  proceed  after  the 
manner  of  a  mixt  administration,  so  as  no  church  act  can 
be  consummated,  or  perfected  without  the  consent  of  both.* 

CHAP:    XL 

0/  the  maintenance   of   Church    Officers.'' 

\^°\iiiV  ^^^  Apostle   concludes,  that  necessary  Sr  sufficient 

maintenance  is  due  unto  the  ministers  of  the  word:  from 
the  law  of  nature  &  nations,  from  the  law  of  Moses,  the 
equity  thereof,  as  also  the  rule  of  common  reason,  more- 
over the  scripture  doth  not  only  call  Elders  labourers,  & 
Gala.  6.  6.  workmen,  but  also  speaking  of  them  doth  say,  that 
I  Cor.  9. 9         the  labourer   is  worthy  of   his  hire :   &  requires  that  he 

vers.  14.  -' 

I  Tim.  s.  18  which  is  taught  in  the  word,  should  communicate  to  him, 
in  all  good  things;  &  mentions  it  as  an  ordinance  of  the 
Lord,  that  they  which  preach  the  Gospel,  should  live  of 


30.  c  10.   10 
I  Tim.  5.  li 


1  Mather,  Church-Govertzment^  58  ;  Cotton,  Kcyes,  22  ;   IVay  of  the  Churches, 
100. 

2  Compare  Mather,  Chztrch-Governinent,  pp.  58-60. 

3  Ibid.,  57. 

■•  Compare  the  brief  paragraph,  Mather,  Church-Government,  (Answer  to  Quest. 
z6,)  pp.  76,  77. 


TEXT   OF   THE   PLATFORM  221 

the  Gospel;  &  forbideth  the  muzling of  the  mouth  of  the  ox, 
that  treadeth  out  the  corn. 

2  The  Scriptures  alledged  requiring  this  mainten- 
ance as  a  bounden  duty,  &  due  debt,  &  not  as  a  matter  of 
almeSj  &  free  gift  therefore  people  are  not  at  liberty  to  doe 
or  not  to  doe,  what  &  when  they  pleas  in  this  matter,  no 
more  then  in  any  other  commanded  duty,  &  ordinance  of 

the  Lord:    but  ought  of  duty,  to  minister  of  their  rar;?a// Ro™ '5  27 

°  '  '  I  Cor.  9.  14 

things  to  them,  that  labour  amongst  them  in  the  word  & 
doctrine,  as  well  as  they  ought  to  pay  any  other  work  men 
their  wages,  or  to  discharge  &  satisfie  their  other  debts,  or  ' 
to  submit  themselves  to  observe  any  other  ordinance  of  the 
Lord. 

3  The  Apostle,  Gal:  6,  6.  injoyning  that  he  which  is  Gala.  6.  6 
taught  communicate  to  him  that  teacheth  /;/  all  good  things: 

doth  not  leave  it  arbitrary,  what  or  hoAV  much  a  man  shall 

give,  or  in  what  proportion,  [16]  but  even  the  later,  as  well  ^  Cor.  16.  2 

as  the  former,  is  prescribed  &  appointed  by  the  Lord. 

4  Not  only  members  of  Churches,  but  all  that  rt;r  Gaiat.  6. 6. 
taught  in  the  7vord,  are  to  contribute  unto  him  that  teacheth, 

in  all  good  things.  Li  case  that  Congregations  are  defec- 
tive in  their  contributions,  the  Deacons  are  to  call  upon  Act.  6. 3, 4 
them  to  doe  their  duty:  if  their  call  sufificeth  not,  the 
church  by  her  powr  is  to  require  it  of  their  members,  & 
where  church-powr  through  the  corruption  of  men,  doth 
not,  or  cahot  attaine  the  end,  the  Magistrate   is  to  see'  < 

ministry  be  duely  provided  for,  as  appeares  from  the  com- 
mended example  of  Nehemiah.     The  Magistrates  are  nurs-  Neh.  13.  n 
ing  fathers,  &  nursing  mothers,  &  stand  charged  with  the 
custody  of  both  Tables;  because  it  is  better  to  prevent  aisay.  4923 
scandal,  that  it  may  not  come  «S:  easier  also,  then  to  re- 
move it  when  it  is  given.     Its  most  suitable  to  Rule,  that  2  Cor.  8. 13  14 
by  the  churches  care,  each  man  should  know  his  proportion 
according  to  rule,  what  he  should  doe,  before  he  doe  it, 
that  so  his  iudgment  &  heart  may  be  satisfied  in  what  he 
doeth,  &:  just  offence  prevented  in  what  is  done. 

CHAP:  Xn. 
Of  Admission  of  members  into  the  Chureh. 
Thc  doors  of  the  Churches  of  Christ  upon  earth,  doe  ^^Chr^om  23^         / 
not  by  Gods  appointment  stand  so  wide  open,  that  all  sorts  ^s-  &  ".  12 


>  Insert  f/int  the. 


222  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

of  people  good  or  bad,  may  freely  enter  therein  at  their 

pleasure;  but  such  as  are  admitted  therto,  as  members 
t  ought  to  be  examined  &  tryed  first;   whether  they  be  fit  & 

meet  to  be  received  into  church-society,  or  not.'  The 
Acts.  8. 37         Evnuch  of  Ethiopia,  before  his  admission  was  examined 

by  Philip,^  whether  he  did  beleive  on  Jesus  Christ  with  all 
Rev.  2. 2  his  heart  ^  the  Angel  of  the  church  at   Ephesus  is  com- 

Acts  9.  26  '^  ^ 

mended,  for  trying  such  as  said  they  were  Apostles  &  were 
not.     There  is  like  reason  for  trying  of  them  that  profess 
themselves  to  be  beleivers. 
Rev.  21. 12     .  The  officers  are  charged  with  the  keeping  of  the  doors 

2  Chr.  23.  19  ^  _ 

of  the  Church,  &  therfore  are  in  a  special  maner  to  make 
tryall  of  the  fitnes  of  such  who  enter.  Twelve  Angels  are 
set  at  the  gates  of  the  Temple,  lest  such  as  were  Cere- 
monially iinclean  should  enter  therinto. 

Acts  2. 38  to  2     The  things  which  are  requisite  to  be  found  in  all 

42.  c  8.  37     ,  '^  ^  . 

\      church  members,  are.  Repentance  from  sm,  %i  faith  in  Jesus 

^  ;      Christ.   [17]  And  therfore  these  are  the  things  wherof  men 

I      are  to  be  examined,  at  their  admission  into  the  church  & 
^ t^t/u'^it  which  then  they  must  profess  &  hold  forth  in  such  sort,  as 

'      may  satisfie  rationall  charity  that  the  things  are  there  in- 
Matt  3. 6  deed.     lohn  Baptist  admitted  men  to  Baptism,  confessing 
&  bewayling  their  sinns:   &  of  other  it  is  said,  that  they 
came,  &  confessed,  &  shewed  their  deeds. ^ 

3  The  weakest  measure  of  faith  is  to  be  accepted  in 
those  that  desire  to  be  admitted  into  the  church:  becaus 
Rom  14.  I  weak  christians  if  sincere^  have  the  substance  of  that  faith, 
repentance  &  holiness  which  is  required  in  church  mem- 
bers: &  such  have  most  need  of  the  ordinances  for  their 
?say  io.^iT  confirmation  &  growth  in  grace."  The  Lord  Jesus  would 
not  quench  the  smoaking  flax,  nor  breake  the  bruised  reed, 
but  gather  the  tender  lambes  in  his  arms,  &  carry  them 
gently  in  his  bosome.  Such  charity  &  tenderness  is  to  be 
used,  as  the  weakest  christian  if  sincere,  may  not  be  ex- 
cluded, nor  discouraged.  Severity  of  examination  is  to  be 
avoyded. 


1  Compare  Mather,  Chti7-ch-Governii!ent,  (Answer  to  Quest.  8,)  pp.  23,  24;  and 
Cotton,  Way  of  the  C/mrc/ies,  pp.  54-58. 

2  See  errata.  s  Cotton,  IVay  of  the  Churches^  pp.  5,  58.  *  See  errata. 
^IsliiOmr^  Ch!crch-Goz'ernme7it,    pp.  23,  24.     Compare  also  Cotton,  //rtjj/ (i/' //ie 

Churches,  pp.  54,  55,  57,  58. 
«  Cotton,  Ibid.,  p.  58. 


TEXT    OF   THE    PLATF(3R.M  223 

4  In  case  any  through  excessive  fear,  or  other  in- 
firmity, be  unable  to  make  their  personal  relation  of  their 
spirituall  estate  in  publick,  it  is  sufficient  that  the  Elders 
having  received  private  satisfaction,  make  relation  therof 
in  publick  before  the  church,  they  testifying  their  assents 
therunto  ;  this  being  the  way  that  tendeth  most  to  edifi- 
cation.     But  wheras  persons  are  of  better  abilityes,  there 

it  is  most  expedient,  that  they  make  their  relations,  ^s'  con- psa^^  66. 16 
fessions  personally  with  their  own  mouth,  as  David  profes- 
seth  of  himselfe. 

5  A  personall  &  publick  confession,  tv:  declaring  of 
Gods  manner  of  working  upon  the  soul,  is  both  lawfull, 
expedient,  &  usefull,  in  sundry  respects,  &  upon  sundry  / 
grounds.  Those  three  thousands.  Acts.  2.  37.  41.  Be- 
fore they  were  admitted  by  the  Apostles,  did  manifest 
that  they  were  pricked  in  their  hearts  at  Peters  sermon, 
together  with  earnest  desire  to  be  delivered  from  their 
sinns,  which  now  wounded  their  consciences,  &  their 
ready  receiving  of  the  word  of  promise  and  exhortation. 
Wee  are  to  be  ready  to  render  a  reason  of  the  hope  that  is 

in  us,  to  every  one  that  asketh  us  :  therfore  wee  must  be  i  Pet  3. 15 
able    and   ready   upon    any  occasion   to   declare    &    shew 
our  repentance  for  sinn,  faith  nnfagned ;^  <^  effectuall  calling, 
because  these  are  the  reason  of  a  well  grounded  hope.     I  Hebr.  n.  i 

^  ^  Ephe  I.  18 

have  not  hidden  thy  righteousness  from  the  great  congre- 
gation.    Psal  :  40.  10. 

[18]  6  This  profession  of  faith  &  repentance,  as 
it  must  be  made  by  such  at  their  admission,  that  were 
never  in  Church-society  before:  so  nothing  hindreth  but 
the  same  way  also  be  performed  by  such  as  have  formerly 
been  members  of  some  other  church,  &  the  church  to 
which  they  now  joyn  themselves  as  members,  may  law- 
fully require  the  same.^  Those  three  thousand.  Acts.  2. 
which  made  their  confession,  were  mebers  of  the  church 
of  the  Jews  before,  so  were  they  that  were  baptised  by 
John.  Churches  may  err  in  their  admission:  &  persons  Matt.  3. 5.  6 
regularly  admitted,  may  fall  into  offence.  Otherwise,  if  i  Tim."  5. 24 
Churches  might  obtrude  their  members,  or  if  church- 
members  might  obtrude  themselves  upon  other  churches, 
without  due  tryall,  the  matter  so  requring,  both  the  lib- 


'  Read  un/eigncd. 

'  Compare  Mather,  Chnrch-Govcrniiicni^  p.  30. 


224  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

erty  of  churches  would  hereby  be  infringed,  in  that  they 
might    not    examine    those,    concering    whose    fitness  for 

Cant.  8.  8  commuuion,  they  were  unsatisfied  :  &  besides  the  infring- 

ing of  their  Uberty,  the  churches  themselves  would  uavoid- 
ably  be  corrupted,  &  the  ordinances  defiled,  whilst  they 
might  not  refuse,  but  must  receive  the  unworthy  :  which 
is  contrary  unto  the  Scripture,  teaching  that  all  churches 
are  sisters,  and  therfore  equall. 

7     The  like  tryall  is  to  be  required  from  such  mem- 

■  bers  of  the  church,  as  were  born  in  the  same,  or  received 

their  membership,  &  were  baptized  in  their  infancy,   or 

minority,  by  vertue  of  the  covenat  of  their  parents,  when 

being  grown  up  nnto'  years  of  discretion,  they  shall  desire 

Matt.  7.  6  to  be  made  partakers  of  the  Lords  supper  :  unto  which, 

I  Cor.  II.  27  '  ...  , 

because  holy  things  must  not  be  given  unto  the  unworthy, 
therfore  it  is  requisit,  that  these  as  well  as  others,  should 
come  to  their  tryall  &  examiation,  &  manifest  their  faith 
&  repentance  by  an  open  profession  therof,  before  they 
are  received  to  the  Lords  supper,  &  otherwise  not  to  be 
be^  admitted  there  unto.^ 

Yet  these  church-members  that  were  so  born,  or  re- 
ceived in  their  childhood,  before  they  are  capable  of 
being  made  partakers  of  full  comunion,  have  many  priv- 
iledges  which  others  (not  church-mebers)  have  not  :  they 
are  in  covenant  with  God  ;  have  the  scale  therof  upon 
them,  viz.  Baptisme  ;  &:  so  if  not  regenerated,  yet  are  in  a 
/  more  hopefull  way  of  attayning  regenerating  grace,  &  all 

the  spiritual  blessings  both  of  the  covenat  &  seal  ;  they 
are  also  under  Church-watch,  &  consequently  subject,  to 
the  reprehensions,  admonitions,  &  censures  therof,  for 
their  healing  and  amendment,  as  need  shall  require. 

[19]  CHAP:XIIL 

Of    Chiirch-membeys    their    7-emovall  from    one    CJnirch    to 
ajiother,  &=  of  letters  of  recomendation  &  disiiiissioii. 

CHurch-members  may  not  remove  or  depart  from  the 
Church,  &  so  one  from  another  as  they  please,  nor  with- 

1  Read  u7tto.  2  Omitted  in  errata. 

3  Compare  Cotton,  Way  0/  the  Churches,  p.  5;  Mather,  Church-Government, 
pp.  20-22.  Mather's  first  draft,  now  in  the  MSS.  collections  of  the  .\merican  Anti- 
quarian Society  at  Worcester,  read :  "  Such  as  are  borne  in  y«  ch  :  as  members,  though 
yet  they  be  not  found  fitt  for  y«  Lords  Supper,  yet  if  they  be  not  culpable  of  such  scan- 
dalls  in  Conversation  as  do  justly  deserve  ch :  Censures,  it  seemeth  to  vs,  W  they  are 
marryed  &  have  children,  those  their  children  may  be  reed  to  Baptisme."     p.  63. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  225 

out  just  &  weighty  cause  but  ought  to  live  &  dwell  to- "ebr.  10  25 
gether  :  for  as  much  as  they  are  comanded,  not  to  forsake 
the  assembling  of  themselves  together.  Such  departure 
tends  to  the  dissolution  i^  ruine  of  the  body  :  as  the 
pulling  of  stones,  &  peeces  of  timber  from  the  building,  & 
of  members  from  the  naturall  body,  tend  to  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  whole.' 

2  It    is    therfore   the   duty  of  Church-members,  in 
such  times  &  places  when  counsell  may  be  had,  to  consult 

with    the  Church    whcrof  they  are  members,  about  their-r'''"v.  n.  16 
ycmovall,  that   accordingly   they   have    their  approbation, 
may  be  incouraged,  or  otherwise  desist.     They  who  are 
joyned  with  consent,  should   not  depart  without  consent, 
except  forced  therunto.- 

3  If  a  members  departure  be  manifestly  unsafe,  and 
sinfuU,  the  church  may  not  consent  therunto  :  for  in  so  Rom  14- da- 
doing, they  should   not  act   in  faith:   &  should   pertake  Acts2i^.'i4.' 
with    him   in   his   sinn.     If  the  case  be  doubtfull   &  the 
person  not  to  be  perswaded,  it  seemeth  best  to  leave  the 
matter  unto  God,  &  not  forcibly  to  detayn  him.^ 

4  Just  reasos  for  a  mebers  removal  of  himselfe  from 
the  church  are,  I     If  a  man  canot  continue  without  par- 

takig  in  siiin.     II     In  case  of  personall  persecution,  so  Paul  Ephe.  5.  n 

*  .  -Acts  9.  25.  &  ver 

departed  from  the  disciples  at  Damascus.  Also,  in  case  ^Q' 3°  chap  8.  i 
of  generall  persecution,  when  all  are  scattered.  Ill  In 
case  of  real,  &  not  only  pretended,  7uant  of  competent  Nehe.  13. 20 
subsistence,  a  door  being  opened  for  a  better  supply  in 
another  place,  together  with  the  meanes  of  spirituall  edifi- 
cation. In  these,  or  like  cases,  a  member  may  lawfully 
remove,  &:  the  church  cannot  lawfully  detayne  him. 

5  To  seperate  from  a  Church,  eyt her  out  of  contempt 

of  their  holy  fellowship,  or  out  of  covetousness,  or  for  greater  2  Tim  4. 10 
inlargements   with   just  greife   to   the   church;  or  out   of 
sc/iisme,  or  want  of  ioi'c;  &  out  of  a  spirit  of  contention  in  Rom  16. 17 
respect  of  some  unkindness,  or  some  cvill  only  conceived,  jude .  19. 
[20J  or  indeed,  in   the  Church  which  might  &  should  be  Esh[Eph]4.2.3 
tolerated  &  healed  with  a  spirit  of  meekness,  &:  of  which  Coii  3. 13 
evill   the   church   is   not  yet    covinced,    (though   perhaps 
himselfe  bee)  nor  admonished:^  for  these  or  the  like  rea- 

*  Compare  Davenport,  Ans7uer  ....  tinto  Nine  Positions,  pp.  72-76. 
a  Ibid.,  74.  3  Ibid. 

*  Compare  Cotton,  M'ay  0/  ike  Churches,  105. 


226  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

sons  to  withdraw  from  publick  comunion,  in  word,  or  scales, 
or  censures,  is  unlawfull  &:  sinfull. 
]^t^^^"26  6     Such  members  as  have  orderly  removed  their  hab- 

itation ought  to  joyn  themselves  unto  the  church  in  order, 
where  they  doe  inhabit  if  it  may  bee:  otherwise,  they  can 
neyther  perform  the  dutyes,  nor  receive  the  priviledges  of 
members;  such  an  example  tolerated  in  some,  is  apt  to 
corrupt    others ;    which    if    many    should    follow,    would 

1  Cor.  14.  33       threaten  the  dissolution  &  confusion  of  churches,  contrary 

to  the  Scripture.' 

Acts.  18. 27  y     Order  requires,  that  a  member  thus  removing,  have 

letters  testimonial ;  6^  of  dismission  from  the  church  wherof 
he  yet  is,  unto  the  church  wherunto  he  desireth  to  be 
joyned,  lest  the  church  should  be  deluded;  that  th,e  church 
may  receive  him  in  faith;  &  not  be  corrupted  by  receiving 
deceivers,  &  false  brethren.  Untill  the  person  dismissed 
be  received  into  another  church,  he  ceaseth  not  by  his  letters 
of  dismission  to  be  a  member  of  the  church  wherof  he 
was.^  The  church  canot  make  a  member  no  member  but 
by  excomunication.^ 

Rom  16. 1, 2  8     If  a  member  be   called  to  remove  only  for  a  time^ 

2  Cor.  3. 1  where  a  Church  is,  letters  of  Recommendation  are  requisite, 

&  sufficient  for  comunion  with  that  church,  in  the  ordi- 
nances, &  in  their  watch:  as  Phoebe,  a  servat  of  the 
church  at  Cenchrea,  had  letters  writte  for  her  to  the 
church  of  Rome,  that  shee  might  be  received,  as  becometh 
saints.^ 

9     Such  letters  of  Recommendation  ^  dismission  were 
written    for  ApoUos:     For    Marcus    to    the    Colosias;    for 

CoiT'^^io"^        Phoebe  to  the  Romaes;  for  sudry  others  to  other  churches. 

Rom.  16. 1         ^  |-|-jg  Apostle  telleth  us,  that  some  persons,  not  sufficient- 
ly known   otherwise,   have   special   need   of  such   letters, 

2  Cor.  3.1  though  he  for  his  part  had  no  need  therof.^     The   use  of 

them  is  to  be  a  benefit,  «S;  help  to  the  party,  for  whom  they 
are  writte;  and  for  the  furthering  of  his  receiving  amongst 
the  Saints  in  the  place  wherto  he  goeth;  &  the  due  satis- 
faction of  them  in  their  receiving  of  him. 


1  Compare  Mather,  Church-Governmetit,  pp.  37-39. 

"  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes,  pp.  17,  18;   Way  0/ the  Churches,  pp.  76,  103,  104. 

3  Ibid.,  Way,  p.  104. 

*  Ibid.,  Keyes,  p.  17;   Way,  p.  103. 

^  Ibid.,  Keyes,  p.  17. 


TEXT    OF    THE    I'LATEURM  22/ 

CHAP  :  XIV. 

Of  €xco»imu)iicaiioii  ^b^  other  Censures. 
Tne  Censures  of  the  church,  are  appointed  by  Christ  'Tim.  5.20 

'  '  '^  ^  '  Deut  17.  12.  13 

for  the  preventing,  removing,  [21]   &  healing  of  offences  J"^^  29  [23?] 
in  the  Church:  for  the  reclayming  &  gayning  of  offending 'Cor.  5.6 
brethren:  for  the  deterring  others  from  the  like  offeces: 
for  purging  out  the  leaven  which  may  infect  the  whole 
lump:  for  vindicating  the  honour  of  Christ,  &  of  his  church,  ^'^'i-  ^  '+.  15- 
&  the  holy  profession  of  the  gospel:    &  for  preventing  the 
wrath  of  God,  that  may  justly  fall  upon  the  church,  if  they 
should   suffer  his   covenant,  and  the  scales  therof,  to  be 
prophaned  by  notorious  &  obstinate  offenders. 

2     If  an  offence  h^  private  (one  brother  offending  an-Mat.  5. 23,  24 
other)  the  offender  is  to  goe,  &  acknowledg  his  repentace 
for  it  unto   his   offended   brother,  who  is   then   to  forgive 
him,  but   if  the   offender  neglect  or  refuse  to  doe  it,  the 
brother  offeded  is  to  goe,  «X:  c5vince  &  admonish  him  of  it, 
between   themselves    privatly:    if   therupon    the    offender  Matt.  18. 15 
bee  brought  to  repent  of  his  offece,  the  admonisher  hath 
won  his  brother,  but  if  the  offender  heare  not  his  brother, 
the  brother  offended  is  to  take  with  him  one  or  two  more, 
that  in  the  mouth  of  two  or  three  witnesses,  every  word  ^  '^• 
may  be  established,  (whether  the  word  of  admonition  if 
the  offender  receive  it,  or  the  word  of  complaint,  if  he  re- 
fuse it:)  for  if  he  refuse  it,  the  offeded  brother  is  by  thev  17. 
mouth  of  the  Elders  to  tell  the  church.    &:  if  he  heare  the 
church.  &  declare  the  same  by  penitet  confession,  he  is  re- 
covered  &  gayned  ;    &  if  the   church  discern  him  to  be 
willing  to  hear,  yet  not  fully  coviuced'  of  his  offence,  as  in  Tit.  3. 10 
case  of   heresy;    They  are   to  dispece  to  him  a  publick 
admonition;  which  declaring  the  offeder  to  ly  under  the 
publick   offence  of  the  church,  doth  therby  with-hold  or 
suspend  him  from  the  holy  fellowship  of  the  Lords  Supper,  Matt.  18. 17 
till  his  offence  be  removed  by  penitent  cofession.      If  he 
still  continue   obstinate,  they  are   to   cast  him   out  by  ex- 
comunication.'^ 

3.     But  if  the  offece  be  more  publiek  at  first,  &  of  a 
more  heinous  6^  criniinall  nature,  to  wit,  such   as  are  con-  •  Cor .  5. 4, 

'  '  5.   i  VII 

'  See  errata. 

^  See  Cotton,  Way  0/ the  Churches,  pp.  89-92;  a  passage  which  the  writer  had  under 
his  eye. 


228  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

dened  by  the  light  of  nature;  then  the  church  without  such 
gradual!  proceeding,  is  to  cast  out  the  offender,  from  their 
holy  comunion,  for  the  further  mortifying  of  his  sinn  &  the 
healing  of  his  soule,  in  the  day  of  the  Lord  Jesus.' 

4     In  dealing  with  an  offeder,  great  care  is  to  be  take, 
that  wee  be  neither  overstrict  or  rigorous,  nor  too  indul- 
Gaiat.  6. 1.        gent  or  remiss;    our  proceeding  herein  ought  to  be  with  a 
spirit  of  meekness,  considering  our  selves,  lest  wee  also  be 
tepted;  &  that  the  best  of  us  have  need  of  much  forgiv- 
Matt  i8. 34. 35  Hcss  from  the  Lord.    Yet  the  winig  &  healig  of  the  offeders 
Ezek.'  13.' lo       soul,  being  the  end  of  these  edeavours,  wee  must  not  daub 
jer.  6. 14  ^j^j^  utempered  morter,  nor  heal  the  wounds  of  our  breth- 

ren sleightly.    on   some   have  compassi5,  others  save  with 
Mat.  18. 17.       fear. 

2  The'''"  I  [22]   5      While  the   offender  remayns   excomunicate, 

the  Church  is  to  refrayn  from  all  member-like  communion 
with  him  in  spirituall  things,  &  also  from  all  familiar  com- 
unio  with  him  in  civil  things,  farther  then  the  necessity  of 
natural,  or  domestical,  or  civil  relatios  doe  require :  & 
are  therfore  to  forbear  to  eat  &  drike  with  him,  that  he 
may  be  ashanuV 

6  Excomunication  being  a  spirituall  punishment,  it 
doth  not  prejudice  the  excomunicate  in,  nor  deprive  him  of 

,     his  civil  rights,  &  therfore  toucheth  not  princes,  or  other 
magistrates,  in   point  of   their  civil   dignity  or  authority. 

1  Cor  H-  24. 25  And,  the  excomunicate  being  but  as  a  publican  &  a  hea- 

then, heathens  being  lawfully  permitted  to  come  to  hear 
the  word  in  church  assemblyes;    wee  acknowledg  therfore 

2  Thes  3. 14      the  like  liberty  of  hearing  the  word,  may  be  permitted  to 

persons  excommunicate,  that  is  permitted  unto  heathen. 
And  because  wee  are  not  without  hope  of  his  recovery, 
wee  are  not  to  account  him  as  an  enemy  but  to  admonish 
him  as  a  brother.^ 

7  If  the  Lord  sanctifie  the  censure  to  the  offender, 
so  as  by  the  grace  of  Christ,  he  doth  testifie  his  repent- 

2Cor2. 7, 8  ance,  with  humble  cofession  of  his  sinn,  &  judging  of  him- 
selfe,  giving  glory  unto  God;  the  Church  is  then  to  forgive 
him,  &  to  comfort  him,  &  to  restore  him  to  the  wonted 
brotherly  communion,  which  formerly  he  injoyed  with 
them.'' 


'  Ibid.,  pp.  92,  93.  2  Compare  Ibid.,  p.  93. 

3  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  93,  94.  *  Ibid.,  p.  94. 


TEXT    OF   THE    I'LATFURM 


229 


8  The  suffring  of  prophane  or  scandalous  livers  to 
continue  in  fellowship,  «S:  partake  in  the  sacraments,  is 
doubtless  a  ereat  sinn  in  those  that  have  power  in  their  Rev  i.  14.  15. 

ver.  20 

hands  to  redress  it;  tS:  doe  it  not.  Nevertheless,  inasmuch 
as  Christ  &  his  Apostles  in  their  times,  <S:  the  Prophets  &  Mat  23. 3. 
other  godly  in  theirs,  did  lawfully  partake  of  the  Lords 
commanded  ordinances  in  the  Jewish  church,  &  neyther 
taught  nor  practiced  seperation  from  the  same,  though  un- 
worthy ones  were  permitted  therin;  &  inasmuch  as  the 
faithfuU  in  the  church  of  Corinth,  wherin  were  many  un- 
worthy persons,  &  practises,  are  never  commanded  to  '  Cor.  0  chap  15. 
absent  themselves  from  the  Sacramets,  because  of  the 
same:  therfore  the  godly  in  like  cases,  are  not  presently  to 
seperate.  » 

9  As  seperation  from  such  a  Church  wherin  prophae 
&  scandalous  livers  are  tolerated,  is  not  presently  neces- 
sary: so  for  the  members  therof,  otherwise  worthy,  here- 
upon to  abstain  from  communicating  with  such  a  church,  2  Chron.  30  18 

.  .  .  .  Gen.  18.  25 

in  the  participation  of  the  Sacraments,  is  unlawfull.  For 
as  it  were  unreasonable  for  an  inocent  person  to  be  pun- 
ished, for  the  faults  of  other,  wherin  he  hath  no  hand,  & 
wherunto  he  gave  no  consent:  soe  is  it  more  unreasonable, 
that  a  godly  [23]  man  should  neglect  duty,  &  punish  him- 
selfe  in  not  coming  for  his  portion  in  the  blessing  of  the 
scales,  as  he  ought,  because  others  are  suffered  to  come, 
that  ought  not;  especially,  considering  that  himselfe  doth 
neyther  consent  to  their  sinn,  nor  to  their  approching  to 
the  ordinance  in  their  sinn,  nor  to  the  neglect  of  others 
who  should  put  them  away,  &  doe  not:  but  on  the  con-Ezekg.  4 
trary  doth  heartily  mourn  for  these  things,  modestly  & 
seasonably  stirr  up  others  to  doe  their  duty.  If  the  Church 
cannot  be  reformed,  they  may  use  their  liberty,  as  is  speci- 
fied, chap.-  13.  sect:  4.  But  this  all  the  godly  are  bound 
unto,  even  every  one  to  do  his  indeavour,  according  to  his 
powr  &  place,  that  the  unworthy  may  be  duly  proceeded 
against,  by  the  Church  to  whom  this  matter  doth  apper- 
taine. 

CHAP:  XV. 

Of  tke  comunion  of  Churches  one  xoith  another. 
ALthough  Churches  be  distinct,  &  therfore  may  not  Rev  i.  4 

^  '  ■'  Cant.  8.  8. 

be  confouded  one  with  another:  &  equall,  &  therfore  have  Rom.  16. 16 


230  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

I  Cor.  16. 19       not  dominion  one  over  another:  yet  all  the  churches  ought 

Acts  15,  23  ... 

Rev  2, 1  to  preserve  Chiirch-coinmitnion  one  with  another/  because 

they  are  all  united  unto  Christ,  not  only  as  a  mysticall, 
but  as  a  politicall  head;  whence  is  derived  a  communion 
suitable  therunto. 

2     The  communion   of   Churches  is   exercised  sundry 
wayes. 

Cant.  8. 8  J     gy  ^y^y  of  mutuall  care  in  taking  thought  for  one 

anothers  wellfare. 

II  By  way  of  Consultation  one  with  another,  when  wee 
^                            have  occasion  to  require  the  judgment  &  counsell  of  other 

churches,  touching  any  person,  or  cause  wherwith  they 

may  be  better  acquainted  then  our  selves.     As  the  church 

f"        of  Antioch  consulted  with  the  Apostles,  &  Elders  of  the 

Acts  15:  2  church  at  lerusalem,  about  the  question  of  circumcision 
of  the  gentiles,  &  about  the  false  teachers  that  broached 
that  doctrine.  In  which  case,  when  any  Church  wanteth 
light  or  peace  amongst  themselves,  it  is  a  way  of  commun- 

Acts  15.  6.  JQ,-j  Qf  churches  (according  to  the  word)  to  meet  together 

by  their  Elders  &:  other  messengers  in  a  synod,  to  con- 
:  22.23  sider  &  argue  the  points  in  doubt,  or  difference;^  &  have- 
ing  found  out  the  way  of  truth  &:  peace,  to  commend  the 
same  by  their  letters  &  messengers  to  the  churches,  whom 
the  same  may  concern.  [24]  But  if  a  Church  be  rent 
with  divisions  amongst  themselves,  or  ly  under  any  open 
scandal,  &  yet  refuse  to  consult  with  other  churches,  for 
healing  or  removing  of  the  same;  it  is  matter  of  just 
offence  both  to  the  Lord  Jesus,  &  to  other  churches,  as 

Ezek  34. 4.  bewraying  too  much  want  of  mercy  «&:  faithfulness,  not  to 
seek  to  bind  up  the  breaches  &  wounds  of  the  church  & 
brethren;  &  therfore  the  state  of  such  a  church  calleth 
aloud  upon  other  churches,  to  excertise  a  fuller  act  of 
brotherly  communion,  to  witt,  by  way  of  admonition. 

III  A  third  way  then  of  comunion  of  churches  is  by 
way  of  admonitio7i,  to  witt,  in  case  any  publick  offece  be 
found  in  a  church,  which  they  either  discern  not,  or  are 
slow  in  proceeding  to  use  the  meaes  for  the  removing  & 

Gall  2.  II  to  14.  healing  of.  Paul  had  no  authority  over  Peter,  yet  when 
he  saw  Peter  not  walking  with  a  right  foot,  he  publickly 


1  Compare  Cotton,  Way  cf  the  Chzn-chcs,  pp.  102,  103. 

^  See  Cotton,  Kcyt-s,  18,  a  passage  which  the  writer  must  have  had  before  him. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  23I 

rebuked  him  before  the  church:  though  churches  have  no 
more  authority  one  over  another,  then  one  Apostle  had 
over  another;  yet  as  one  Apostle  might  admonish  another, 
so  may  one  church  admonish  another,  &  yet  without  usur- 
pation.' In  which  case,  if  the  church  that  lyeth  under 
offence,  do  not  harken  to  the  church  which  doth  admonish 
her,  the   churcli   is   to  acquait   other  neighbour-churches  ^'^''^ '^^ '5, 16, 

17-  by  proportion 

with  that  offece,  which  the  offending  church  still  lyeth 
under,  together  with  their  neglect  of  the  brotherly  admo- 
nition given  unto  them;  wherupon  those  other  churches 
are  to  joyn  in  seconding  the  admonitio  formerly  give:  and 
if  still  the  offeding  church  continue  in  obstinacy  &  im- 
penitency,  they  may  forbear  communion  with  them;  «.^  are 
to  proceed  to  make  use  of  the  help  of  a  Synod,  or  counsell 
of  neighbour-churches  walkig  orderly  (if  a  greater  canot  j 
convenietly  be  had)  for  their  conviction.^  If  they  hear  J 
not  the  Synod,  the  Synod  having  declared  them  to  be  ob- 
stinate, particular  churches,  approving  &:  accepting  of  the 
judgmet  of  the  Synod,  are  to  declare  the  sentence  of  non- 
comunion  respectively  concerning  them:  &  therupon  out 
of  a  religious  care  to  keep  their  own  communion  pure, 
they  may  justly  withdraw  themselves  from  participation 
with  them  at  the  Lords  table,  &  from  such  other  acts  of  holy 
comunion,  as  the  communion  of  churches  doth  otherwise 
allow,  &  require.  Nevertheless,  if  any  members  of  such  a 
church  as  lyeth  under  publick  offence;  doe  not  consent  to 
the  offence  of  the  church,  but  doe  in  due  sort  beare  witness 
against  it,  they  are  still  to  be  received  to  wonted  commun- 
ion :  for  it  is  not  equall,  that  the  innocent  should  suffer  with  Gen  18.  23. 
the  offensive.  [25]  Yea  furthermore ;  if  such  innocent 
members  after  due  wayting  in  the  use  of  all  good  meanes 
for  the  healing  of  the  offence  of  their  own  church,  shall 
at  last  (with  the  allowace  of  the  counsel  of  neighbour- 
churches)  withdraw  from  the  fellowship  of  their  own 
church  &  offer  themselves  to  the  fellowship  of  another; 
wee  judge  it  lawfull  for  the  other  church  to  receive  them 
(being  otherwise  fitt)  as  if  they  had  been  orderly  dismissed 
to  them  from  their  own  church. 

IV     A  fourth  way  of  communion  of  churches,  is  by 
way  oi ^rtidpatioir.  the  members  of  one  church  occasion- 


•  fbid.y  19.     Here,  too,  Cotton's  language  is  closely  followed. 

s  Compare  Ibiti.y  pp.  18,  24,  25 ;  also,  IVay  0/  the  Churches,  108,  109. 


2^2  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD    AND    PLATFORM 

ally  comming  unto  another,  wee  willingly  admitt  them  to 
partake  with  us  at  the  Lords  table,  it  being  the  seale  of 
our  communion  not  only  with  Christ,  nor  only  with  the 

I  Cor  12.  13  members  of  our  own  church,  but  also  with  all  the  churches 
of  the  saints:  in  which  regard,  wee  refuse  not  to  baptize 
their  children  presented  to  us,  if  either  their  own  minister 
be  absent,  or  such  a  fruite  of  holy  fellowship  be  desired 
with  us.  In  like  case  such  churches  as  are  furnished  with 
more  ministers  then  one,  doe  willingly  afford  one  of  their 
.own  ministers  to  supply  the  place  of  an  absent  or  sick 
minister  of  another  church  for  a  needfull  season.' 

^°™  ''^-  '  V     A  fifth  way  of  Church-communion  is,  by  way  of 

recomendation  when  a  member  of  one  church  hath  occa- 
sion to  reside  in  another  church;  if  but  for  a  season,  wee 
comend  him  to  their  watchfull  ffellowship  by  letters  of 
recommendation  :  but  if  he  be  called  to  settle  his  abode 

Acts  18. 27  there,  wee  commit  him  according  to  his  desire,  to  the 
ffellowship  of  their  covenant,  by  letters  of  dismission.^ 

VI  A  sixt  way  of  Church-communion,  is  in  case  of 
Need,   to    minister  reliefe  ^  succour   one    unto    another  : 

Acts  II.  22         either  of  able  members  to  furnish  them  with  officers:  or 

vers  29. 

of  outward  support  to  the  necessityes  of  poorer  churches; 
Romi3. 26, 27.    as  did  the  churches  of  the  Gentiles   contribute   liberally 
to  the  poor  saints  at  lerusalem.^ 

3  When  a  copany  of  beleivers  purpose  to  gather 
into  church  fellowship,  it  is  requisite  for  their  safer  pro- 
ceeding, &  the  maintaining  of  the  communion  of  churches, 

b'y  proportion'^  ^  ^^^^  ^^Y  signific  their  intent  unto  the  neighbour-churches, 
walking  according  unto  the  order  of  the  Gospel,  &  de- 
sire their  presence,  &  help,  &  right  hand  of  fellowship 
which  they  ought  readily  to  give  unto  them,  when  their* 
is  no  just  cause  of  excepting  against  their  proceedings.^ 

4  Besides  these  severall  wayes  of  communion,  there 
is  also  a  way  of  propagation  of  churches  ;  when  a  church 
shall  grow  too  nu-  [26]  merous,  it  is  a  way,  &  fitt  season, 

isay  40.  20.        to  propagate  one  Church  out  of  an  other,  by  sending  forth 

Oant  8.  8,  9* 

such  of  their  mebers  as  are  willing  to  remove,  &  to  pro- 


■  Here  again  the  writer  made  considerable  use  of  Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  17 ;  though 
the  communion  by  baptism  and  exchange  of  ministers  is  his  own  conception. 

2  Compare  Cotton,  Keyes,  pp.  17,  18. 

3  Compare /i^/rf.,  18  ;   IVay  of  the  Churches,  pp.  107,  108. 

*  Read  there.     See  errata. 

*  Compare  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  pp.  5,  6. 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  233 

cure  some  officers  to  them,  as  may  enter  with  them  into 
church-estate  amongst  themselves  :  as  Bees,  when  the 
hive  is  too  full,  issue  forth  by  swarmes,  &  are  gathered 
into  other  hives,  soe  the  Churches  of  Christ  may  doe  the 
same  upon  like  necessity;  &  therin  hold  forth  to  the 
the  right  hand  of  fellowship,  both  in  their  gathering  into 
a  church  ;  Ojc  in  the  ordination  of  their  officers.' 

CHAP  :  XVI. 

Of  Synods. 
Svnods  orderly  assembled,  &  rightly  proceeding  ac- 
cording to  the  pattern.  Acts.  15.  weacknowledg  as  the 
ordinance  of  Christ:^  &  though  not  absolutely  necessary  Acts  15. 2.  to.  15. 
to  the  being,  yet  many  times,  through  the  iniquity  of 
men,  &  perversness  of  times,  necessary  to  the  wel- 
being  of  churches,  for  the  establishment  of  truth,  & 
peace  therin. 

2  Synods  being  spirituall  &:  ecclesiasticall  assem- 
blyes,  are  therfore  made  up  of  spirituall  &  ecclesiasticall 
causes.  The  next  efficient  cause  of  them  under  Christ, 
is  the  powr  of  the  churches,  sending  forth   their  Elders, 

[&]  other  messengers;  who  being  mett  together  in  the  name  Acts  15  ,2,3 
of  Christ,  are  the  matter  of  a  Synod  :^  &  they  in  argueing,  verse, 
debating  &  determining  matters  of  religion  according  to  vers  7  to  23 
the  word,  &  publishing  the  same  to  the  churches  whom  it 
concerneth,  doe  put  forth  the  proper  &  formall  acts  of  a 
Synod;  to  the  convictio  of  errours,  &  heresyes,  &  the  es-vers^ii. 
tablishment  of  truth  &  peace  in  the  Churches,  which  is  Acts  164. 15. 
the  end  of  a  Synod. 

3  Magistrates,  have  powr  to  call  a  Synod,  by  calling 

to  the  Churches  to  send  forth  their  Elders  &  other  mes-  -  Chmn  29.      v 

4.    5.    to   II. 

sengers,  to  counsel  «S:  assist  them  in  matters  of  religion  : 
but  yett  the  constituting  of  a  Synod,  is  a  church  act,  & 
may  be  transacted  by  the  churches,  even  when  civil  mag-  Acts  15. 
istrates  may  be  enemyes  to  churches  and  to  church  as- 
semblyes.' 

4     It  belongeth  unto  Synods  &  counsels,  to  debate  «S: 


'  Here  again  the  writer  has  made  use  of  Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  19.     See  also  IVay  of 
the  Churches^  pp.  109,  no. 
2  Cotton,  Keyes,  p.  23. 

'  Result  of  a  Synod  at  Catnbridge    .     .     .     Anna,  /d^b,  p.  49. 
*  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  70-72. 
16 


234  THE   CAMBRIDGE    SYNOD   AND    PLATFORM 

Acts  15. 1.  2.  6.  determine  controversies  of  faith,  &  cases  of  consciece  ;  to 
cleare  from  tlie  word  holy  directions  for  the  holy  worship 
of  God,  &  good  government  of  the  church  ;  to  beare  wit- 
zChronzg:  6, 7.  ncss  against  mal-administration  «S;  [27J  Corruption  in  doc- 
vers  28,' 29.  trine  or  maiTers  in  any  particular  Church,  &  to  give  direc- 
tions for  the  reformation  therof:  Not  to  exercise  Church- 
censures  in  way  of  discipline,  nor  any  other  act  of  church- 
authority  or  jurisdiction  :  which  that  presidentiall  Synod 
did  forbeare. 

5  The  Synods  directions  &  determinations,  so  farr 
as  consonant  to  the  word  of  God,  are  to  be  received  with 
reverence  &  submission ;  not  only  for  their  agreement 
therwith  (which  is  the  principall  ground  therof,  &:  with- 
out which  they  bind  not  at  all:)  but  also  secondarily,  for 

Acts  15.  the  powr  wherby  they  are  made,  as  being  an  ordinance  of 

God  appointed  therunto  in  his  word. 

6  Because  it  is  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  for  many 
churches  to  com  altogether  in  one  place,  in  all  their 
mebers  universally:  therfore  they  may  assemble  by  their 
delegates  or  messengers,  as  the  church  of  Antioch  went 

Acts  15. 2  not  all  to  Jerusalem,  but  some  select  men  for  that  pur- 

pose. Because  none  are  or  should  be  more  fitt  to  know 
the  state  of  the  churches,  nor  to  advise  of  wayes  for  the 
good  therof  then  Elders ;  therfore  it  is  fitt  that  in  the 
choice  of  the  messengers  for  such  assemblies,  they  have 

Acts  15:2  special  respect  uto  such.     Yet  in  as  much  as  not  only  Paul 

vers  22,  23  ^  ^  ^ 

&  Barnabas,  but  certayn  others  also  were  sent  to  leru- 
salem  from  Antioch.  Acts.  15.  &  when  they  were  come 
to  Jerusalem,  not  only  the  Apostles  &  Elders,  but  other 
brethren  also  doe  assemble,  &  meet  about  the  matter  ; 
therfore  Synods  are  to  consist  both  of  Elders,  &:  other 
church-members,  endued  with  gifts,  &  sent  by  the 
churches,  not  excluding  the  presence  of  any  brethren  in 
the  churches. 

CHAP:    XVII 

0/  the  Civil  Magistrates  poicr  in  Matters  Ecclesiastical. 

It   is   lawfull,   profitable.   &   necessary   for    christians 

to    gather    themselves    into    Church    estate,    and    therin 

Act  2. 41. 47.      to    exercise    all    the    ordinaces    of   christ  according  unto 

cap,  4.  I.  2,  3 

the    word,    although    the    consent    of    Magistrate    could 


TEXT    OF   THE    PLATFORM  235 

not  be  had  therunto,'  because  the  Apostles  &  christians  in 
their  time  did  frequently  thus  practise,  when  the  Magis- 
trates being  all  of  them  Jewish  or  pagan,  &  mostly 
persecuting  enemies,  would  give  no  countenance  or  con- 
sent to  such  matters. 

2     Church-government    stands    in    no    opposition    to  John  18, 36 
civil    govenment    of  comon-welths,   nor   any   intrencheth  f 

upon  the  authority  of  [28]  Civil  Magistrates  in  their 
iurisdictions  ;  nor  any  whit  weakneth  their  hands  in  gov- John  18. 36 

■•  •'  ^  Acts  25. 8. 

erning  ;  but  rather  strengthneth  them,  &  furthereth  the 
people  in  yielding  more  hearty  cS:  conscionable  obedi- 
ence uto  them,  whatsoever  some  ill  affected  persons  to 
the  wayes  of  Christ  have  suggested,  to  alienate  the  affec- 
tions of  Kings  &  Princes  from  the  ordinances  of  Christ; 
as  if  the  kingdome  of  Christ  in  his  church  could  not  rise 
&  stand,  without  the  falling  (\:  weakning  of  their 
government,  which  is  also  of  Christ  :  wheras  the  contrary  isay  49.  23. 
is  most  true,  that  they  may  both  stand  together  & 
flourish  the  one  being  helpfull  unto  the  other,  in  their 
distinct  &  due  administrations. 

The  powr  &  authority  of  Magistrates  is  not  for  the 
restraiing  of  churches,  or  any  other  good  workes,  but  for 
helping  in  &  furthering  therof;  &  therfore  the  consent  &  Rom  13.  4.    ^/^ 

1  Tim  2.  2. 

countenance  of  Magistrates  when  it  may  be  had,  is  not  to 
be  sleighted,  or  lightly  esteemed;  but  on  the  contrary;  it 
is  part  of  that  honour  due  to  christian  Magistrates  to  de- 
sire &  crave  their  consent  &:  approbation  therin:  which 
being  obtayned,  the  churches  may  then  proceed  in  their 
way  with  much  more  encouragement,  &  comfort. ^ 

4  It  is  not  in  the  powr  of  Magistrates  to  compell  their 
subjects  to  become  church-members,  &  to  partake  at  the 
Lords  table:'  for  the  priests  are  reproved,  that  brought 
uworthy  ones  into  the  sactuarie  :  then,  as  it  was  unlawfuU  Ezek44. 7,  0 
for  the  preists,  so  it  is  as  unlawful  1  to  be  done  by  civil 
Magistrates.  Those  whom  the  church  is  to  cast  out  ifiCors.  n 
they  were  in,  the  Magistrate  ought  not  to  thrust  into  the 
church,  nor  to  hold  them  therin. 


'  Cotton  expresses  the  same  view  in  different  language,  ]\'ay  0/  the  C/turchcs, 
p.  6. 

*  Compare  Cotton's  statement  of  New  England  theory  and  practice,  Way  0/ the 
Churches,  pp.  6,  7. 

'  Compare  Cotton,  Keycs,  p.  51  ;  the  same  idea  is  expressed  in  The  Result  0/  a 
Synod  at  Cambridge    .     .     .    Anno,  ib^b,  p.  4.     See  ante,  p.  190. 


236  THE   CAMBRIDGE   SYNOD   AND   PLATFORM 

5  As  it  is  unlawfull  for  church-officers  to  meddle  with 
the  sword  of  the  Magistrate,  so  it  is  ulawfull  for  the  Magis- 
trate to  meddle  with  the  work  proper  to  church-officers. 

Matth  20  25, 26.  the  Acts  of  Moses  «^  David,  who  were  not  only  Prices,  but 
Prophets,    were    extraordinary;     therfore    not    imitable. 

2Chron26i6. 17.  Against  such  usurpation  the  Lord  witnessed,  by  smiting 
Uzziah  with  leprosie,  for  presuming  to  offer  incense 
""^  6     It  is  the  duty  of  the  Magistrate,  to  take  care  of 

matters  of  religion,  &  to  improve  his  civil  authority  for  the 

Psai  82. 2  observing  of  the  duties  commanded  in  the  first,  as  well  as 

for  observing  of  the  duties  commanded  in  the  second 
table.'    They  are  called  Gods.     The  end  of  the  Magistrates 

I  Tim  2. 1, 2  office,  is  not  only  the  quiet  &  peaceable  life  of  the  subject, 
in  matters  of  righteousness  &  honesty,  but  also  in  matters 
of  godliness,  yea  of  all  godliness.^  Moses,  Joshua,  David, 
Soloma,  [29J  Asa,  Jehoshaphat,  Hezekiah,  Josiah,'  are 
much  commended  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  for  the  putting  forth 

1  Kings  15. 14.  c  their  authority  in  matters  of    religion:    on  the  contrary, 

2  kings  12. 3  c    such  Kings  as  have  been  fayling  this  way,  are  frequently 

14.  4.  c  15.  35. 

1  Kings  20. 42.    taxed  &  reproved  by  the  Lord.    &  not  only  the  Kuigs  of 

Job  29,  25  c  3  I 

26. 28.  Judah,   but   also    Job,    Nehemiah,    the    kmg   of    Nmiveh, 

Jonah  3. 7.  Darius,  Artaxerxes,  Nebucadnezar,^  whom  none  looked  at 
Dan  3.'  29.  as  types  of  Christ,^  (thouh"  were  it  soe,  there  were  no  place 

for  any  just  objection,)  are  comeded  in  the  book  of  God,, 

for  exercising  their  authority  this  way. 

7  The  object  of  the  powr  of  the  Magistrate,  are  not 
things  meerly  inward,  &  so  not  subject  to  his  cognisance 
&  view,  as  unbeleife  hardness  of  heart,  erronious  opin- 
ions not  vented;  but  only  such  things  as  are  acted  by  the 
outward  man;'  neither  is   their    powr  to  be  exercised,  in 

I  Kings  20         commanding  such  acts  of  the  outward  man,  &  punishig  the 

28.  vers  42  *'  ... 

neglect  therof,  as  are  but  meer  invetions,  &  devices  of 
men;  but  about  such  acts,  as  are  commanded  &  forbid- 
den in  the  word;  yea  such  as  the  word  doth  clearly  deter- 
mine, though  not  alwayes  clearly  to  the  judgment  of  the 
Magistrate  or  others,  yet  clearly  in  it  selfe.  In  these  he 
of  right  ought  to  putt  forth  his  authority,  though  oft-times 
actually  he  doth  it  not.* 

'  Compare  Result  of  a  Synods  pp.  i  and  following. 

2  Ibid.,  pp.  34-36.  8  Jl,ici,^  p.  22. 

*  Ibid.,  pp.  22,  23,  25-29.  5  Ibid. 

'  Read  though.  '  Compare  Ibid.,  pp.  15,  16. 

8  This  passage  shows  that  Mather  must  have  been  familiar  with  the  tentative; 
Resjtlt  of  a  Synod  of  1646.     {A  nte,  pp.  189-193.)     See  Ibid.,  p.  4. 


/ 


TEXT   OF   THE    PLATFORM  23 

8  Idolatry,  Blasphemy,  Heresy,  venting  corrupt   &  Deut  13. 

,  ,  1        r  ,       •  "  Kinj<s  20.  28, 

pernicious  opinions,  that  destroy  the  foundation,  open  con-    vers  42. 
tempt  of  the   word   preached,  prophanation  of  the  Lords  Zach  13. 3. 

1  1  1       •     •  •  I.  •  c  ^^^  '3-  21. 

day,  disturbing  the  peaceable  administration  &  exercise  of  i  Tim  2. 2. 
the  worship  &  holy  things  of   God,  «S:  the  like,  are  to  be  '  "*' 

restrayned,  &  punished  by  civil  authority.' 

9  If  any  church  one  or  more  shall  grow  schismaticall, 
rending  it  self  from  the  communion  of  other  churches,  or 
shall  walke  incorrigibly  or  obstinately  in  any  corrupt  way 
of  their  own,  contrary  to   the   rule    of   the   word;    in  such 

case,  the   Magistrate   is   to   put   forth   his  coercive  powr,  Joshua  22 

as    the    matter    shall    require.      The    tribes    on    this    side 

Jordan  intended  to  make  warr  against  the  other  tribes, 

for  building  the  altar  of  witness,  w^hom  they 

suspected  to  have  turned  away 

therin  from  following 

of  the  Lord. 

FINIS 

[  30     Blank  ] 

[31]  A  TABLE  OF  THE  CONTENTS  [A  sim- 
ple list  of  the  titles  of  the  chapters,  here  omitted.] 


Errata 

The  faults  escaped  in  some  of  the  hookes  thus  amended 
Note  that  the  first  figures  stands  for  page  the  ne.xt  for  line     pag  8 
19.  r  they.  10  11.  r  not,  be.  13.  26.  r  admission,  p  16.  28  r  Philip.  17.  5. 
T  Acts.   19.  18.     18.  28.  r  not  bee  adm.  19.  r  one.  r  to.   21.  21.   r  con- 
vinced. 25.  35.  r  there. 


1  Compare  Ibid.^  pp.  5,  6. 


XI 

THE   HALF  WAY  COVENANT  DECISIONS  OF 
1657  AND   1662 
Editions  and  Reprints 

A.       THE   conclusions    OF   THE    MINISTERIAL    ASSEMBLY,    1657 

The  manuscript  is  in  the  possession  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society, 
Worcester,  Mass. 

A  Disputation  concertiing  Church-JMembcrs  and  tlieir  Children  in  Ansiver  to 
XXI.  Qtiestions  :  London,  1659,  4°  pp.  [viii]  31.' 

In  abstract  in  I.      Hubbard,  General  History  of  New  England,  ed.  Boston, 

1848,  pp.  563-569- 

II.      Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Neiu  England,  Boston,  1855-62,  II:    154- 

158. 

B.       THE   RESULT    OF   THE    SYNOD    OF     l662 

The  manuscript  is  in  the  possession  of  the  American  Antiquarian  Society. 

I.  Propositions  Concerning  the  Subject  of  Baptism  and  Consociation  of 
Churches,  Collected  and  Confirmed  out  of  the  Word  of  God,  by  a  Synod  of  Elders 
and  Messengers  of  the  Churches  in  Massachusets-Colony  in  New-England.  Assem- 
bled at  Boston,  according  to  Appointment  of  the  Honoured  General  Court,  In  the 

Year  1662,  etc.,  Cambridge  :  Printed  by  S.\amuel'\  G.\i'een^  for  Hezekiah  Usher 
at  Boston  i7i  New-England,  1662.     4°  pp.  xvi,  32. 

II.  With  same  title,  but  without  naming  the  place  of  publication,  and  with  the 
addition  of  the  Ans7ver  of  the  Dissetiting  Brethren,  i.  e.,  Chauncy,  Anti-Synodalia 
Scripta  Americana.     [London],  1662. 

III.  Mather,  Magnalia,  London,  1702.     Ed.  1853-5,  H  :   279-301.'' 

IV.  Results  of  Three  Synods,  etc.     Boston,  1725,  pp.  50-93. 

V.  The  Original  Constitution,  Order  and  Faith  of  The  Neiu  England 
Churches,  etc.     Boston,  1812,  pp.  69-118. 

VI.  Congregational  Quarterly,  IV  :  275-286.     (July,  1862.) 

Beside  these  publications  of  the  full  text  of  the  result,  the  portion  which  has  to 
do  with  Consociation  of  Churches  was  reprinted  by  Increase  Mather,  A  Disquisition 
Concerning  Ecclesiastical  Councils,  Boston,  1716,  pp.  40-47;  republished  in  Con- 
gregational Quarterly,  XII :  366-369  (July,  1870). 

An  abstract  of  the  result  was  given  by  Hubbard,  General  History,  pp.  5S7-590. 

Sources 

Public  Records  of  the  Colony  of  Connecticut,  Hartford,  1850,  etc.,  1 :  281,  288, 
289,  293,  302,  437,  438  ;  II:  53-55,  67,  69,  70,  84,  109,  516,  517. 

1  The  publication  was  effected  by  Nathanael  (and  probably  Increase)  Mather.     See  Brinley 
Catalogue,  1 :  133. 

2  Dexter  has  pointed  out  that  Mather's  reprint  is  inaccurate  ;  see  Cong.  Quart.,  IV  :  275. 

(238) 


ITS    LITERATURK  239 

Records  of  .  .  .  Massac/iusc'tts,  Boston,  1S53-4,  III:  419;  IV,  Pt.  I:  280; 
Ft.  II:  38,  60,  62. 

Records  of  the  Colony    .     .     .     c/ iVfw //(?w«,  Hartford,  1S57-8,  II :  195-198. 

Acts  of  the  Commissioners  of  the  United  Colonics,  (in  Records  of  .  .  Ply- 
mouth,) Boston,  1S59,  II :  328. 

The  sources  are  largely  epitomized  by  Felt,  Ecclesiastical  History  of  N'ew  Eng- 
land, Boston,  1S55,  1S62,  II:  153-159,  1S7,  189-191,  2S7-2S9,  291-296,  299-302, 
310,  312,  333,  339-341,  365,  406,  407,  409- 

Controversial  PAMruLETS 

a.  Opposed  to  the  result.  l.  Charles  Chauncy,  Anti-Synodalia 
Scripta  Americana,  etc.  [London]  1662  ;  Printed  in  connection  with  the  result  of  the 
Synod  as  issued  at  London  ;'  2.  Answer  of  the  Dissenting  Ministers  in  the  Synod, 
respecting  Baptism  and  the  Consociation  of  Churches,  Cambridge,  1662  ■^-  3.  John 
Davenport,  Another  Essay  For  Investigation  of  the  Truth,  in  Answer  to  Two 
Questions,  concerning  (a)  The  svbject  of  Baptism,  (b)  The  Consociation  of  Churches. 
Cambridge,  1663,  with  preface  by  Increase  Mather*  and  an  appendix  by  Nicholas 
Street  ;■* 

b.  In  defense  of  tlie  resnit.  I.  John  Allin,  Animadversions  upon 
the  Antisynodalia  Americana,  etc.,  Cambridge,  1664  [Reply  to  Chauncy];  2.  Jona- 
than Mitchell  and  Richard  Mather,^  A  Defence  of  the  Answer  and  Arguments  of 
the  Synod  met  at  Boston  in  the  year  1662  .  .  .  Against  the  Reply  made  thereto 
by  the  Rev.  Mr.  J.  Davenport  [this  portion  of  the  work  by  R.  Mather]^  ...  to- 
gether -cvith  an  Answer  to  the  Apologetical  Preface  set  before  that  Essay,  [here 
Mitchell  answers  Increase  Mather,]  Cambridge,  1664 ;  3.  Collection  of  the  Testi- 
monies of  the  Fathers  of  the  iVew  England  Churches  respecting  Baptism.  Cam- 
bridge, 1665?''  4.  Increase  Mather,  The  First  Principles  of  New-England, 
Concerning  the  Subject  of  Baptisme  &=  Communion  of  Churches.  Collected  partly 
out  of  the  Printed  Books,  but  chiefly  out  of  the  Original  Manuscripts  of  the  First 
and  chief e  Fathers  in  the  New-English  Churches,  etc.,  Cambridge,  1675  ;  5.  In- 
crease Mather,  A  Discourse  concerning  the  Subject  of  Baptisme,  Wherein  the 
present  Controversies     .      .      .     are  enquired  into.     Cambridge,  1675. 

Literature 

I.  Hubbard,  General  Plistory  of  New  England  [Account  written  soon  after 
1675],*  ed.  Boston,  1S48,  pp.  562-571,  587-591  ;  2.  Mather,  Magnalia,  London, 
1702,  ed.  Hartford,  1853-5,  II :  276-315  ;  3.   Neal,  History  of  New-England,  Lon- 


'  Thomas,  Hist.  0/  Printing,  1 :  255,  believed  this  to  have  been  issued  also  at  Cambridge, 
Mass.,  in  1662.     This  is  almost  certainly  a  mistake.     See  Brinley  Catalogue,  I  :   114. 

2  So  given  by  Dexter,  Cong:  as  seen,  P.M.  No.  1935.  May  it  not  be  identical  with  No.  i  ?  I 
have  not  been  able  to  find  it,  and  am  inclined  to  believe  it  a  mistake. 

3  The  youthful  .Mather  soon  changed  his  views,  under  the  influence  of  Mitchell's  arguments, 
and  wrote  in  defense  of  the  result.     Compare  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  ^I  '■  3'°- 

■«  Nicholas  Street  was  teacher  of  the  church  at  New  Haven  of  which  Davenport  was  pastor. 

*  The  work  was  published  anonymously. 

«  Davenport  made  rejoinder  to  R.  Mather,  but  the  reply  was  never  printed.  See  Cong.  Quart., 
IV:  287. 

'  I  know  nothing  of  this  work  save  the  title  as  given  in  Thomas,  Mist.  Printing  in  A  mcrica, 
IT  :  315.  This  classification  is,  therefore,  purely  conjectural.  May  this  not  be  an  erroneous  descrip- 
tion of  I.  Mather's  First  Princifilcs  ? 

8  Hubbard  speaks  of  Increase  Mather's  First  Princiitcs.  etc.,  as  "  published  not  long  since." 


240  THE    HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

don,  1720,  H:  335-337;  4.  Hutchinson,  History  of  the  Colony  of  Mass.  Bay,  ed. 
London,  1765,  1 :  223,  224  ;  g.  Trumbull,  History  of  Connecticut,  ed.  New  Haven, 
1818,  I:  296-313,  456-472  ;  6.  Upham,  Ratio  Disciplines,  Portland,  Me.,  1829,  pp. 
221—228  ;  7.  Leonard  Bacon,  Thirteen  Historical  Discourses,  on  the  completion  of 
200  years,  from  the  Begi7ining  of  the  First  Church  in  Netv-Haven,  New  Haven, 
1839,  pp.  108,  139-146;  8.  Uhden,  Geschichte  der  Congregationalisten  in  Neu- 
England,  u.  s.  w.,  Leipzig,  1842,  Conant's  translation.  The  Neiv  England  Theocracy, 
etc.,  Boston,  1858,  pp.  163-200;  9.  Clark,  Historical  Sketch  of  the  Cong.  Churches 
in  Mass.,  Boston,  1858,  pp.  44,  45,  69-73  ;  lO.  Palfrey,  History  of  New  England, 
Boston,  185S-64,  H:  486-493,  III:  81-88,  116-119;  II.  Leonard  Bacon,  Histori- 
cal Discourse,  in  Contributions  to  the  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Connecticut,  New 
Haven,  1861,  pp.  16-32;  12.  H.  M.  Dexter,  Tiuo  Hutidred  Years  Ago,  in  New 
England,  in  Congregational  Quarterly,  IV :  268-291  (July,  1862)  [a  most  valuable 
and  almost  exhaustive  monograph  on  the  Synod  of  1662]  ;  13.  D.  T.  Fiske,  The 
Half-  Way  Covenant,  in  Contributions  to  the  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Essex  Cotinty, 
Mass.,  Boston,  1865,  pp.  270-282  ;  14.  I.  N.  Tarbox,  Minutes  of  the  Gejieral  As- 
sociation of  Cong.  Churches  of  Mass.,  Boston,  1877,  pp.  35-42  ;  15.  Dexter,  Con- 
gregatiojialism  .  .  .  as  seen  in  its  Literature,  New  York,  1S80,  pp.  467-476  ; 
16.  G.  L.  Walker,  History  of  the  First  Church  in  Hartford,  Hartford,  1884,  pp. 
151-211  [corrects  the  misrepresentations  as  to  the  relations  of  the  quarrel  in  the 
Hartford  church  to  the  Half- Way  Covenant  movement  into  which  nearly  all  earlier 
writers  have  fallen];  17.  G.  L.  Walker,  Jonathan  Edwards  and  the  Half-  Way  Cove- 
nant, in  New  Ettglander,  XLIII :  601-614  (Sept.,  1884);  18.  Doyle,  English  in 
America,  The  Puritan  Colonies,  London,  1887,  II :  94-100. 


The  Reception  of  the  System 

a.  By  the  Salem  Church,  White,  New  England  Congregationalism,  pp.  40-78 
passim  (original  records);  b.  By  the  First  Church,  Boston,  Hill,  History  of  the 
Old  South  Church,  Boston,  1890,  I:  '-,-2^?>  passim ;  c.  By  the  Hartford  Church, 
John  Davenport,  Letter  to  John  Winthrop,  Jr.,  in  j  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  X :  59- 
62  ;  Walker,  History  of  the  First  Church,  Hartford,  1884,  pp.  182-21 1  ;  d.  By  the 
Stratford  Church,  Cothren,  History  of  Ancient  Woodbury,  Waterbury,  1854,  pp.  113 
-135  ;  e.  By  the  Dorchester  Church,  Records  of  First  Ch.  at  Dorchester,  Boston, 
1891,  pp.  35,  40,  49,  55,  70  [original  records  of  value]. 


The  Stoddardean  Discussion 

I.  Increase  Mather,  The  Order  of  the  Gospel,  Boston,  1700;'  2.  Stoddard, 
The  Doctrine  of  Instituted  Churches  Explained  and  Proved  from  the  Word  of  God, 
London,  1700;^  3.  [I.  &  C.  Mather?]  The  Voting  Mans  claim  unto  the  Sacrament 

of  the  Lords-Supper     .     .     .     by     .     .      .    John  Quich     .     .      .      With  a  Defence 


1  In  genera'.,  a  defense  of  the  older  New  England  views  as  to  church-membership,  rights  01 
the  brethren  in  church  administration,  "relations,"  covenants,  synods,  etc. 

^  Apparently  drawn  out  by  Mather's  book,  a  large  portion  of  the  positions  of  which  it  tra- 
verses. Full  presentation  of  the  famous  view  on  admission  to  the  Supper,  pp.  18-22.  Stoddard 
affirms  the  e.xistence  of  National  Churches,  denies  the  necessity  of  church  covenants,  and  declares 
that  the  minister  alone,  without  the  intermeddling  of  the  brethren,  is  to  decide  on  fitness  for  ad- 
mission to  the  sacraments. 


ITS    LITERATURE  24 1 

cf  those  Churches  from  -what  is  Offensive  to  them  in  a  Discourse  lately  Ptil'lished, 
under  the  Title  of  ,  The  Doctrine  of  Instituted  Churches,  1700;'  4.  Stoddard,  The 
Inexcusableness  of  N'eglecting  the  Worship  of  God,  under  A  Pretence  of  being  in 
(in  Unconverted  Conditio)!,  Shewn  in  a  Sermon  Preached  at  Nortluimpton,  The 
lyth.  Decemh.  lyoj.  Boston,  170S  ;  5.  Increase  Mather,  A  Dissertation,  'wherein 
the  Strange  Doctrine  lately  Published  in  a  Sermon,  the  Tendency  of  which  is  to  En- 
courage Unsanctified  Persons  {while  such)  to  approach  the  Holy  Table  of  the  Lord,  is 
Examined  and  Confuted.  Boston,  1708  ;  6.  Stoddard,  An  Appeal  to  the  Learned. 
Being  A  Vindication  of  the  Right  of  Visible  Saitits  to  the  Lords  Slipper,  Though 
they  be  destitute  of  a  Saving  Work  of  Gods  Spirit  on  their  Hearts  :  Against  the 
Exceptions  of  Mr.  Increase  Alather.  Boston,  1709;  7.  An  Appeal,  Of  some  of 
tlie  Unlearned,  both  to  the  Learned  and  Unlearned ;  Containing  some  Queries  on  S. 
Stoddard's  Appeal,  Boston,  1709.  An  article  of  some  value  is  that  of  [W.  Bement], 
Stoddardeanism,  in  Xezo  Englander,  IV:  350-355  (1S46). 


The  Effort  for  the  Abolition  of  the  Half-Way  System 

Opponents.  I.  Jonathan  Edwards,  An  Humble  Inqtiiry  Into  the  Rules  of 
the  Word  of  God,  Concerning  the  Qualifications  Requisite  to  a  Compleat  Standing 
and  full  Communion  In  the  Visible  Christian  Church.  Boston,  1749,  Edinburgh, 
1790;*  2.  J.  Edwards,  Misrepresentations  Corrected,  and  Truth  Vindicated,  Bos- 
ton, 1752  [Reply  to  No.  26,  below];  3.  Bellamy,  Dialogue  on  the  Christian  Sacra- 
ments, Boston,  1762;*  4.  Jacob  Green,  Christian  Baptism  ["Sermon  Delivered  at 
Hanover,  in  New-Jersey,  Nov.  4.  I764"];'*  5.  J.  Green,  Att  Inquiry  Into  The  Con- 
stitution and  Discipline  of  the  Jeivish  Church  ;  In  order  to  cast  some  Light  on  the 
Controversy,  concerning  Qualifications  for  the  Sacraments  of  the  A'ew  Testament,^ 
New  York,  1768  ;  6.  J.  Green,  A  Reply  to  the  Reverend  Mr.  George  Beckwitlis 
Answer,  New  Haven  [1769],  [Reply  to  No.  31];  7.  Bellamy,  The  Half-Way-Cove- 
nattt.  A  Dialogue,  New  Haven,  1769;^  8.  Bellamy,  The  Inconsistence  of  Re- 
nouncing T/ie  Half- Way-Covenant,  and  yet  retaining  the  Half- Way-Practice.  A 
Dialogue,''  New  Haven  [1769],  [Reply  to  No.  30];  9.  Bellamy,  That  there  is  but 
one  Covenant,  whereof  Baptism  attd  the  Lord's  Supper  are  Seals,  viz ;  the  Cove- 
nant of  Grace  .  .  .  and,  the  Doctrine  of  an  External  Graceless  Covenant,  Lately 
advanced.  By  the  Rev.  Mr.  Moses  Mather  .  .  .  Shetun  to  be  an  unscriptural 
Doctrine  [Reply  to  No.  27].  It  has  as  preface,  A  Dialogue  between  a  Minister  and 
his  Parishioner,  concerm7ig  the  Half- Way-Covenant ,^  New  Haven,  1769  [Reply  to 


'  Endorsed  as  a  reply  to  the  Instituted  Churches,  by  John  Higginson,  William  Hubbard, 
Zechariah  Symmes,  Sen.,  Samuel  Cheever,  Nicholas  Noyes,  Jeremiah  Shepard,  Joseph  Gerrish, 
and  Edward  Paison. 

^  Primarily  an  attack  on  Stoddardeanism  ;  opposes  the  Half-Way  Covenant  system  on  pp. 
128-131.     Edwards  graduated  at  Yale  in  1720.     Pastor  at  Northampton,  Mass. 

'  Yale,  1735,  pastor  Bethlem,  Conn.  Written  soon  after  Edwards's  dismission  from  North- 
ampton, but  not  printed  till  1762.  A  defence  of  Edwards.  Opposed  to  the  Half-Way  Covenant  by 
implication  rather  than  explicitly. 

^  Harvard,  1744,  pastor  Hanover,  N.  J.  A  follower  of  Whitefield,  Edwardean  in  spirit  and 
opposed  to  seeking  baptism  for  offspring  when  consciously  unfit  for  the  Lord's  Table. 

^  A  vigorous  defence  of  Edwards's  views. 

•  Bellamy's  first  Half-Way  Covenant  dialogue  —  a  readable  and  forcible  attack  on  the  system. 
'  Bellamy's  second  dialogue. 

*  Bellamy's  third  dialogue. 


242  THF   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

No.  2S];  lO.  Bellamy,  The  Sacramental  Controversy  brought  to  a  Point.  The 
Fourth  Dialogue  betiveen  a  Minister  and  his  Parishioner.  New  Haven  [1770], 
[Reply  to  No.  33];  II.  Bellamy,  A  careful  and  strict  Examination  of  the  External 
Covenant  .  .  .  A  Reply  to  the  Rev.  Mr.  Moses  Mather  s  Piece,  entituled.  The 
Visible  Church  in  Covenant  7vith  God,  further  illustrated.  New  Haven  [1770],  [Re- 
ply to  No.  34];  12.  Israel  Holley,  A  Letter  to  the  Reverend  Air.  Bartholome-iv  of 
Harwinton  :  Containing  A  Few  Remarks,  Upon  some  of  his  Argumetits  and  Di- 
vinity,'^ Hartford,  1770,  [Reply  to  No.  32];  13.  Rules  of  Trial:  Or  Half- Way 
Covenant  Examined.  In  a  letter  to  the  Parishioner.  By  an  Observer  of  the  Dis- 
pute, New  London,  1770,^  [Reply  to  No.  28];  14.  Chandler  Robbins,  A  Reply  to 
some  Essays  lately  published  by  John  Cotton,  Esq.  {of  PlymoutJi)  Relating  to  Bap- 
tism,^ Boston,  1773,  [Reply  to  No.  37];  15.  C.  Robbins,  Some  brief  Remarks  on 
A  Piece  published  by  fohn  Cotton,  Esq,  of  Plymouth,  Boston,  1774,  [Reply  to  No. 
38];  16.  Cyprian  Strong,  A  Discourse  on  Acts  II:  42.  In  zahich  the  Practice  of 
Owning  the  Covenant  is  Examined,^  Hartford,  1780,  2d  ed.  1791  ;  17.  C.  Strong, 
Aniinadversions  on  the  Substance  of  Tzvo  Sermons  preached  at  Stepney  by  John 
Lewis,  A.M.,  Hartford,  1789,  [Reply  to  No.  25];  18.  C.  Strong,  An  Inquiry 
Wherein  the  end  and  design  of  Baptism  .  .  .  are  particularly  considered,^ 
Hartford,  1793  ;  19.  Nathanael  Emmons,  Dissertation  on  the  Scripture  Qualifica- 
tions for  Admission  and  Access  to  the  Christian  Sacraments :  comprising  Some 
Strictures  on  Dr.  Hemmemoay  s  Discourse  concerning  the  Church,^  Worcester,  1793, 
[Reply  to  No.  43];  20.  Stephen  West,  An  Inquiry  into  the  Ground  and  Import  of 
Infant  Baptism,'^  Stockbridge,  1794;  21.  N.  Emmons,  Candid  Reply  to  Dr.  Hem- 
mentvafs  Remarks  on  his  Dissertation,  Worcester,  1795,  [Reply  to  No.  44];  22. 
C.  Strong,  A  Second  Inquiry  into  the  Nature  and  Design  of  Christian  Baptism.^ 
Hartford,  1796;  23.  S.  West,  A  Dissertation  on  Iiifant  Baptism  in  reply  to  the 
Rev.  Cyprian.  Strong's  Second  Inquiry  on  that  Subject^  Hartford,  1798,  [Reply  to 
No.  22];  24.  Timothy  Dwight,  Sermon  CLIX,  in  Theology;  Explained  and  De- 
fended in  a  Series  of  Sermons,  ed.  New  Haven,  1823,  IV:   33S-344. 

Peculiar  Views.     25.  John  Lewis,  Christian   Forbearance   to  weak  Con- 
sciences a  Duty  of  the  Gospel.      The  Substance  of  T700  Sermons,^''  Hartford,  1789. 


1  Pastor  at  Suffield,  Conn.     Edvvardean  in  view  and  friendly  to  Bellamy.     Not  very  valuable. 

2  Anonymous.  Unimportant.  The  writer  asserts  that  conversion  is  a  prerequisite  to  admis- 
sion to  the  Sacraments. 

3  Yale,  1756,  pastor  Plymouth,  Mass.  A  powerful  argument  against  the  system,  which  had 
been  under  discussion  in  the  First  Church  since  1770. 

■•  Yale,  1763,  pastor  Chatham,  now  Portland,  Conn.     A  most  vigorous  attack  on  the  system. 

*  One  of  the  great  works  in  opposition  to  the  Half  Way  Covenant. 

*  Yale,  1767,  pastor  Franklin,  Mass. 

'  Yale,  1755,  pastor  Stockbridge,  Mass. 

*  Has  to  do  only  incidentally  with  the  Half- Way  Covenant.  Strong's  views  is:  "that  the 
children  of  believers  are  not  in  covenant,  and  are  not  to  be  baptized  in  token  of  their  title  to  the 
blessings  of  the  covenant,  but  as  a  mark  and  token  that  their  parents  will  keep  covenant,  and  that 
their  children  are  dedicated  to  God."     p.  114. 

"  West  combatted  the  Half- Way  Covenant,  but  opposed  Strong's  view  that  baptism  was  only 
a  seal  of  the  parents'  dedication  of  the  child  of  God. 

'0  Yale,  1770,  pastor  Stepney,  now  Rocky  Hill,  Conn.  His  view  was  that :  "  The  same  quali- 
fications, which  are  necessary  for  an  attendance  on  the  Lord's  Supper,  are  necessary  to  bring  a  child 
to  baptism  "...  but :  "  the  absenting  of  a  person,  who  wishes  to  avoid  every  sin,  and  walk  in 
newness  of  life,  yet  fears  to  approach  the  table  of  the  Lord  — is  not  such  a  breach  of  covenant  as 
debars  him  from  bringing  his  children  to  baptism."     pp.  5,  6. 


ITS   LITERATURE  243 

Defciitlers.  26.  Solomon  Williams,  True  State  of  the  Question  concerning 
The  Qualifications  Xecessary  to  lawful  Communion  in  the  Christian  Sacraments,^ 
Boston,  1751,  [Reply  to  No.  i];  27.  Moses  Mather,  The  Visible  Church,  in  Cove- 
nant with  God,^  New  York,  1759,  [error  for  1769];  28.  [Ebenezer  Devotion],  The 
Ilalf-'ivay  Covenant.  A  Dialogue  I'ctiueen  Joseph  Bellamy,  D.D.,  and  a  Parish- 
ioner, Continued,  by  the  Parishioner,^  New  London,  1769,  [Reply  to  No.  7];  29. 
The  Parishioner  having  Studied  the  Point.  Containing  some  Observations  on  the 
Half-lVay  Covenant,  Printed  ijtg,*  [Reply  to  No.  7];  30.  [Nathanael  Taylor?] 
A  Second  Dialogue,  betiveen  a  Minister  and  his  Parishioner,  Concerning  the  Ilalf- 
Way-Covenant,^  Hartford,  1769,  [Reply  to  No.  7];  31.  George  Beckwith,  Visible 
Saints  lanful  Right  to  Communion  in  Christian  Sacraments,  Vindicated,^  New- 
London,  1769,  [Reply  to  No.  4];  32.  Andrew  Bartholomew,  A  Dissertation,  on  The 
Quali fications,  Xecessary  to  A  huifiil  Profession,  and  enjoying  special  Ordinances^ 
Hartford  [1769];  ^Z-  [E.  Devotion?],  A  Letter  to  the  Reverend  Joseph  Bellamy, 
D.D.,  Concerning  Qualifications  for  Christian  Communion  .  .  .  From  the 
Parishioner,^  New  Haven  [1770],  [Reply  to  the  preface  of  No.  9];  34.  Moses 
Mather,  The  Visible  Church,  in  Covenant  7uith  God ;  Further  Illustrated,  New 
Haven,  1770,  [Reply  to  No.  9];  35.  [E.  Devotion?],  A  Second  Letter,  to  the  Rev- 
erend Joseph  Bellamy,  D.D.,  Occasioned' by  his  fourth  Dialogue  .  .  .  From  the 
Parishioner,  New  Haven  [1770],  [Reply  to  No.  10];  36.  Charles  Chauncy,  "  Break- 
ing of  Bread"  in  remembrance  of  the  dying  Love  of  Christ,  a  Gospel  institution. 
Five  Sermons,^  Boston,  1772 ;  37.  John  Cotton,  The  general  Practice  of  the 
Churches  of  N^ezo-England,  relating  to  Baptism,  Vindicated :  or.  Some  Essays 
.  .  .  Delivered  at  several  Church-Meetings  in  Plymotcth,^^  Boston  [1772];  38. 
John  Cotton,  The  General  Practice  of  the  Churches  of  iVeio  England,  Relating  to 
Baptism  Further  Vindicated,  Boston,  1773,  [Reply  to  No.  14];  39.  William  Hart, 
A  Scriptural  Ans-tuer  to  this  Question  "  What  are  the  Necessary  Qualifications  for 
.  Attendance  upon  the  Sacraments  of  the  New  Covenant, ^^  New  London, 
1772  ;  40.  Moses  Mather,  .-/  Brief  Vierc  of  the  Manner  in  which  the  Controversy 
About  Terms  of  Communion  .  .  .  Idas  been  conducted,  in  the  present  day.^^ 
New  Haven,  1772  ;   41.  Nathan  Williams,  An  Enquiry  Concerning  the  Design  and 


1  Harvard,  1719,  pastor  Lebanon,  Conn.  Strongly  Stoddardean,  little  direct  reference  to  the 
system. 

■2  Yale,  1739,  pastor  Middlesex,  now  Darien,  Conn.     A  powerful  Stoddardean  treatise. 

3  Yale,  1732,  pastor  Scotland,  Conn.     Stoddardean. 

■»  Anonymous  and  without  place  —  Ultra-Stoddardean. 

5  Yale,  1745,  pastor  New  Milford,  Conn.  Curiously  enough  Dr.  H.  M.  De.xter,  Bibliog.  No. 
3559,  and  the  editors  of  Bellamy's  Works,  ed.  Boston,  1850,  II:  677-684,  took  this  tract  to  be  by 
Bellamy  instead  of  against  him.  On  the  authorship  see  Israel  Holly  No.  12  above,  and  Prof.  F.  B. 
De.xter,   Yale  Graduates,  p.  52S. 

«  Yale,  1728,  pastor  Lyme,  Conn.  Stoddardean.  An  earnest  defence  of  the  Half-Way 
Covenant. 

'  Yale,  1731,  pastor  Harwinton,  Conn.     Opposed  to  Bellamy. 

''  Hot  and  personal. 

»  Harvard,  1721,  pastor'First  Church,  Boston.  See  pp.  106-113  for  a  strong  presentation  of  a 
theory  essentially  Stoddardean. 

'0  Harvard,  1730,  pastor  Halifax,  Mass.,  but  ill  health  had  compelled  retirement.  Was  now 
a  member  of  the  First  Church,  Plymouth,  and  the  holder  of  civil  offices  (county  treasurer,  etc.).  He 
strenuously  resisted  Robbins's  attempt  to  induce  the  Plymouth  church  to  abandon  the  Half-Way 
practice. 

"  Yale,  1732,  pastor  Saybrook,  Conn.     Stoddardean. 

"  A  general  reply  to  Bellamy  and  defence  of  the  Stoddardean  view.  Mather  is  said  to  have 
adopted  Edwards's  view  late  in  life.     F.  B.  Dexter,  Vale  Graduates,  p.  628. 


244  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

Imp07-tance  of  Christian  Baptism  and  Discipline,  In  ivay  of  a  Dialogue  Bet'iveen  a 
Alitiister  and  his  Neighbour,^  Hartford,  1778,  Boston,  1792;  42.  Joseph  Lathrop, 
A  Church  of  God  described,  the  Qualifications  for  Membership  stated,  and  Christian 
Fellowship  illustrated,  in  two  Discourses,"^  Hartford,  1792;  43.  Moses  Hemmen- 
way,  A  Discourse  concerning  the  Church,  in  which  .  .  .  a  Right  of  Admission 
and  Access  to  Special  Ordinances,  in  their  Outzvard  Administrations  and  In-vard 
Efficacy,  [is]  Stated  atid  Discussed,^  Boston,  1792;  44.  M.  Hemmenway,  Remarks 
on  Rev.  Mr.  Emmons'  Dissertation,  Boston,  1794,  [Reply  to  No.  19]. 

THE  main  purpose  of  the  Massachusetts  General  Court  in  call- 
ing the  Synod  to  meet  at  Cambridge  in  1646  had  been  the 
settlement  of  the  questions  agitating  the  colonies  as  to  baptism 
and  church-membership.^  The  predominance  of  Presbyterianism 
at  the  time  in  England,  and  the  machinations  of  those  in  New 
England  who  hoped  by  Presbyterian  aid  to  overthrow  the  colonial 
churches  and  state,  made  these  questions  peculiarly  pressing.  But 
the  cloud  rolled  away  almost  as  quickly  as  it  had  arisen,  and  as  the 
questions  proposed  by  the  Court  encountered  diversities  of  view 
among  the  representatives  of  the  Congregational  Churches  assembled 
at  Cambridge,^  the  more  generally  accepted  features  of  the  Congre- 
gational system  were  embodied  in  the  Platform,  and  the  vexed 
points  regarding  baptism,  no  longer  pressing  for  immediate  solu- 
tion, were  passed  over  in  rather  ambiguous  phrases.  This  treat- 
ment of  the  subject  was  comparatively  easy  in  1648  because  the 
opposition  to  the  prevalent  system  had  been  largely  championed 
by  a  defeated  political  party;  but  had  the  Cambridge  Synod  been 
pressed  to  a  vote,  the  probability  is  that  it  would  have  substantially 
anticipated  the  decisions  of  1662.  The  question  was  really  far 
more  religious  than  political.  It  was  one  sure  to  arise  in  the  state 
of  New  England  society.  And  as  the  leaders  of  the  first  genera- 
tion passed  rapidly  away,  soon  after  the  close  of  the  Cambridge 

1  Yale,  1755,  pastor  Tolland,  Conn.  Favors  the  Half- Way  Covenant.  The  first  edition  bears 
the  endorsements  of  Rev.  Eliphalet  Williams,  East  Hartford,  Conn.;  Rev.  John  Willard,  Stafford, 
Conn.;  Rev.  Elizur  Goodrich,  Durham,  Conn.;  and  Rev.  Joseph  Latlfrop,  West  Springfield,  Mass. 
The  second  edition  has,  in  addition,  Pres.  Joseph  Willard  of  Har\'ard  ;  and  Rev.  Moses  Hemmen- 
way of  Wells,  Me. 

2  Vale,  1754,  pastor  West  Springfield,  Mass.  An  able  defence  of  Stoddardeanism.  In  1793 
Lathrop  was  offered  the  professorship  of  Divinity  in  Yale  College ;  see  N.  H.  Hist.  Soc.  Papers, 
IV:  269. 

3  Harvard,  1755,  pastor  Wells,  Me.  Dislikes  the  name  Half-Way  Covenant ;  but  strongly 
favors  the  system  and  inclines  toward  Stoddardeanism. 

■*  See  ante,  pp.  168-171.  ^  Ibid.,  p.  i8i. 


A   RELIGIOUS    QUESTION  245 

Synod,  and  the  children  of  the  emigrants  grew  to  manhood  and 
womanhood,  the  problem  of  baptism  became  every  day  more  press- 
ing as  a  question  vitally  affecting  the  churches  themselves,  what- 
ever intermixture  of  political  aspirations  in  regard  to  the  franchise 
or  taxation  may  have  modified  the  discussions  of  1645-8.  The 
political  element,  slight  at  all  times  in  comparison  with  the  relig- 
ious motive  in  the  controversy,  practically  dropped  out  of  sight 
after  the  defeat  of  Child  and  his  associates.  The  second  stage  of 
the  controversy  on  which  we  now  enter  was  purely  ecclesiastical. 
It  was  now  solely  as  a  problem  of  church  polity  that  the  position 
of  the  baptized  but  not  regenerate  members  of  the  community 
was  discussed.' 

The  original  settlers  of  New  England  were  men  of  tried  relig- 
ious experience.  Most  of  those  who  occupied  positions  of  promi- 
nence in  the  community  could  give  a  reason  for  the  faith  that  was 
in  them.  They  had  been  sifted  out  of  the  mass  of  the  Puritans  of 
England.  The  struggles  through  which  they  had  gone,  the  type 
of  piety  which  they  had  heard  inculcated,  and  their  efforts  to  over- 
come the  spiritual  inertia  of  the  English  Establishment,  engendered 
prevailingly  a  deep,  emotional,  introspective  faith,  which  looked 
upon  a  conscious  regenerative  work  of  the  spirit  of  God  in  the 
heart  as  essential  to  Christian  hope.  And  as  the  New  England 
fathers  held  strongly  to  the  doctrine  that  the  visible  church  should 
consist  of  none  but  evident  Christians,^  none  were  admitted  to  the 
adult  membership  of  the  churches  who  could  not  relate  some  in- 
stance of  the  transforming  operation  of  God  in  their  own  lives. 
The  peculiar  experience  of  the  Puritans  made  the  test  a  natural 
one  for  the  first  generation  of  New  England  settlers,  and  the  pre- 
ponderating weight  of  opinion  in  the  community  viewed  those  who 
could  not  meet  it  as  unfit  for  a  share  in  the  ordinances  of  the  Gos- 
pel.' This  view  involved  a  radical  departure  from  the  practice  of 
the  English  Establishment;  but  the  early  Congregationalists  clung 


•  See  the  forcible  assertion  of  the  non-political  character  of  this  discussion  in  D.  T.  Fiske, 
Discourse,  in  Cont.  Eccles.  Hist.  Essex  Co.,  Mass.,  Boston,  1865,  pp.  271,  272. 

2  See  JMather,  Church-Government,  pp.  8,  9  (Answer  to  No.  2  of  XXXII  Quest.);  Hooker, 
ante,  p.  143,  etc. 

'  See  e.  g.  Lechford,  Plain  Dealing,  Trumbull's  reprint,  p.  29. 


246  THE    HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

to  a  regenerate  membership  as  an  absolute  essential  to  the  prop- 
erly constituted  church. 

But  there  was  one  exception  to  this  rule  that  none  were  ac- 
counted of  the  church  save  those  who  could  claim  a  definite 
religious  experience  and  who  had  taken  covenant  pledges  to 
each  other  and  to  God.     The  constitutive  element  in  the  church 

„  was  the  covenant,  and  this  covenant,  like  that  made  with  the  house 
of  Israel  by  God,  was  held  to  include  not  only  the  covenanting 
adult  but  his  children.'     Hence,  from  the  first,  the  fathers  of  New 

'  England  insisted  that  the  children  of  church  members  were  them- 
selves members,  or  in  the  covenant,  and  as  such  were  justly  en- 
titled to  those  church  privileges  which  were  adapted  to  their  state 
of  Christian  development,  of  which  the  chief  were  baptism  and  the 

/  watchful  discipline  of  the  church.^     They  did  not  enter  the  church 

/;  by  baptism;  they  were  entitled  to  baptism  because  they  were  al- 
/  ready  members  of  the  church.'  Here  then  was  an  inconsistency 
in  the  application  of  the  Congregational  theory  of  the  constitution 
of  a  church.  While  affirming  that  a  proper  church  consisted  only 
of  those  possessed  of  personal  Christian  character,  the  fathers  ad- 
mitted to  membership,  in  some  degree  at  least,  those  who  had  no 
claim  but  Christian  parentage.  They  sought  to  avoid  the  incon- 
venience  of  this  duality  of  entrance  by  insisting  that  none  who 


1  Cotton  affirmed:  "The  same  Covenant  which  God  made  with  the  Nationall  Church  of 
Israel  and  their  Seed,  It  is  the  very  same  (for  substance)  and  none  other  which  the  Lord  maketh 
with  any  Congregationall  Church,  and  our  Seed."  Certain  Queries  Tending  to  Acco7nmodation 
.     .     .     of  Presbyterian  i5r=  Congregationall  Churches^  London,  1654,  p.  13. 

2  Morton  recorded,  under  date  of  1629  :  "  The  two  ministers  [Skelton  and  Higginson  at  Salem] 
.  .  .  considered  of  the  state  of  their  children,  together  with  their  parents;  concerning  which,  let- 
ters did  pass  between  Mr.  Higginson  and  Mr.  Brewster,  the  reverend  elder  of  the  church  at  Pli- 
mouth,  and  they  did  agree  in  their  judgments,  namely,  concerning  the  church  membership  of  the 
children  with  their  parents."     Memoriall,  ed.  1855,  p.  loi. 

Mather  in  Church-Goverjitnent  (Answer  to  5  &  6  of  the  XXXII  Questions),  pp.  20,  21,  said: 
"  Infants  with  us  are  Admitted  Members  in  and  with  their  Parents,  so  as  to  be  Admitted  to  all 
Church  priviledges  of  which  Infants  are  capable,  as  namely  to  Baptisme."  "They  [the  baptized 
children  of  the  church]  are  also  under  Church-watch,  &  consequently  subject,  to  the  reprehensions, 
admonitions,  &  censures  therof,  for  their  healing  and  amendment,  as  need  shall  require."  Camb. 
Plat/orvi.     See  ante,  p.  224. 

3  "  The  nature  and  use  of  Baptisme  is  to  be  a  scale  to  confirme  the  Covenant  of  Grace  be- 
tween God  and  his  Church,  and  the  Members  thereof,  as  circumcision  also  was,  Rom.  4.  11.  Now 
a  scale  is  not  to  make  a  thing  that  was  not,  but  to  confirme  something  that  was  before ;  and  so 
Baptisme  is  not  that  which  gives  being  to  the  Church,  nor  to  the  Covenant,  but  is  for  confirma- 
tion thereof."  ..."  Children  that  are  borne  when  their  Parents  are  Church  Members,  are  in 
Covenant  with  God  even  from  their  birth,  Gen.  17.  7.  12.  and  their  Baptisme  did  scale  it  to  them." 
Mather,  Church-Government  (Ans.  to  4,  5,  &  6  of  XXXII  Quest.),  pp.  12,  20,  21. 


WHY   A    PRESSING    QUESTION  247 

came  into  the  church  by  birth  ought  to  go  on  to  the  great  privi- 
lege of  adult  years,  the  Lord's  Supper,  without  a  profession  of  per- 
sonal regeneration.'  But  the  difficulties  of  the  situation  were  not 
apparent  in  any  marked  degree  till  the  children  of  the  first  settlers 
came  to  maturity."  Then,  in  addition  to  the  two  great  divisions 
of  early  days, —  the  consciously  regenerate  and  those  who  laid  no 
claim  to  Christian  character, —  there  arose  a  third  class  of  the 
population,  and  one  ever  since  familiarly  known  in  every  New 
England  town,  —  a  class  of  men  and  women  whose  parents  had 
been  actively  Christian,  who  had  themselves  been  baptized  and 
educated  in  the  Christian  faith,  were  well  grounded  in  the  knowl- 
edge of  Christian  truth,  were  students  of  the  Bible  and  interested 
listeners  in  the  sanctuary,  who  were  desirous  of  bringing  up  their 
families  in  the  way  in  which  they  themselves  had  been  trained,  and 
who  were  moral  and  earnest  in  their  lives;  yet  could  lay  claim  to 
no  such  experience  as  that  which  their  parents  had  called  a  change 
of  heart,  and  when  asked  as  to  any  conscious  work  of  God  in  their 
souls  were  compelled  to  admit  that  they  could  speak  with  confi- 
dence of  none.  It  was  the  rise  of  this  class  that  thrust  the  Half- 
Way  Covenant  problem  upon  the  New  England  churches. 

Three  courses  of  treatment  were  open  to  the  churches  in  deal- 
ing with  these  persons,  —  each  course  liable  to  serious  objections. 
They  might  have  been  admitted  to  all  the  privileges  of  commun- 
ion; and  a  few  in  New  England,  whose  inclination  toward  the 
Presbyterian  or  Episcopal  customs  of  the  old  country  was  strong, 
leaned  even  at  an  early  period  toward  the  admission  to  the  Lord's 
Supper  of  all  who  were  intellectually  familiar  with  the  truths  of 
the  Gospel  and  of  exemplary  moral  life.^  But  this  position  met 
with  no  oreneral  advocacv  even  among  the  class  whom  it  would  be 


'  "  But  notwithstanding  their  Birthright,  we  conceive  there  is  a  necessity  of  their  personal! 
profession  of  Faith,  and  taking  hold  of  ChurCh-Covenant  when  they  come  to  yeares  .  .  .  for 
without  this  it  cannot  so  well  be  discerned;  what  fitnesse  is  in  them  for  the  Lords  Table."  Jbid.y 
p.  21. 

"  Compare  Preface  to  the  Propositions  of  1662,  p.  .\iii,  on  a  later  page. 

'  This  was  the  view  of  Child  and  his  fellow  petitioners  in  1646.  See  ante,  p.  165.  At  an 
earlier  time,  1641-2,  Lechford  recorded:  "Of  late  some  Churches  are  of  opinion,  that  any  may  be 
admitted  to  Church-fellowship,  that  are  not  e.xtremely  ignorant  or  scandalous:  but  this  they  are 
not  very  forward  to  practice,  except  at  Newberry^  Plain  Dealing,  pp.  21.  22,  Trumbull's  re- 
print, p.  56. 


248  THE    HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

supposed  most  to  benefit.  It  was  too  positive  an  abandonment  of 
the  principle  that  the  church  should  consist  only  of  visible  saints 
to  be  acceptable  to  those  who  had  been  trained  by  the  fathers  of 
New  England.  Yet,  though  advocated  by  but  few,  the  fear  that 
such  a  lowering  of  the  terms  of  communion  would  take  place  did 
much  to  secure  the  acceptance  of  the  Half-Way  Covenant  as  the 
lesser  of  two  evils.' 

A  second  way  of  disposing  of  the  problem  would  have  been  to 
have  denied  to  this  class  any  right  to  church  membership  or 
church  privileges.  But  this  method  of  dealing  was  open  to  grave 
objections,  both  theoretic  and  practical.  The  class  thus  cut  off 
from  the  churches  would  be  large,  it  would  leave  the  membership 
of  the  churches  in  a  minority,  it  would  give  substance  to  the  criti- 
cisms freely  offered  by  the  Puritan  party  in  England  that  too  large 
a  portion  of  the  inhabitants  of  New  England  were  outside  the 
churches  as  it  was.^  But  more  serious  was  the  objection  that  all 
New  England  authorities  had  held  these  men  and  women  to  be  by 
birth  church-members,  and  the  Congregational  system  of  the  day 
knew  no  way  out  of  church  covenant  save  death,  dismission  to 
another  covenant  fold,  personal  withdrawal  from  a  church  in  evi- 
dent error,  or  excommunication.  And  how  was  this  class  to  be 
excommunicated  when  they  had,  in  general,  tried  to  live  upright 
and  godly  lives,  and  the  only  charge  against  them  was  a  want  of  a 
regenerative  change  which  none  but  God  could  effect?  The  prin- 
ciple that  men  could  enter  a  Congregational  church  by  birth  as 
well  as  by  profession  once  admitted,  the  membership  of  these  per- 
sons was  indubitable;  and  if  members,  why  could  they  not  enjoy 
and  transmit  the  privileges  of  the  church  to  their  offspring,  at 
least  in  so  far  as  they  themselves  had  received  them?  If  church 
membership  was  a  hereditary  matter,  what  authority  was  there  for 
limiting  its  descent  to  a  single  generation?     Then,  too,  there  was 


1  Compare  Mitchell,  A  Defence  0/  the  A  nsiver  [of  1662]  .  .  .  Against  the  Reply  made 
thereto  by  ...  J .  Davenport  .  .  .  together  ivith  an  A  nswer  to  the  Apologetical  Pre- 
face set  before  thai  Essay,  Cambridge,  1664,  p.  45  (Mitchell's  reply  to  Increase  Mather).  See  also 
Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  II  :  309,  310. 

-  See  Quest,  i  of  the  XXXII  Quest.  Church-Government,  p.  i.  Lechford,  Plain  Dealing.^ 
p.  73,  Trumbull's  reprint,  pp.  150-152. 


DIFFICULTIES   OF    A    SOLUTION  249 

a  well-grounded  fear  on  the  part  of  many  of  the  best  men  in  New 
England  that  if  the  membership  of  the  children  of  the  church  was 
denied,  no  basis  would  be  left  on  which  they  could  be  held  amena- 
ble to  church  discipline,  and  discipline  was  greatly  valued  by  early 
Congregationalists  as  a  means  of  Christian  training.  To  deprive  a 
large  class  in  the  community  of  its  benefits  seemed  like  giving 
them  up  to  heathenism.  Probably  a  dread  of  the  prevalence  of 
Baptist  views,  limiting  baptism  to  adult  believers,  had  also  some- 
thing to  do  with  the  reluctance  of  the  New  England  pastors  to 
confine  the  rite  to  the  children  of  visible  saints.' 

The  objections  to  each  of  these  two  methods  of  dealing  with 
the  problem  were  so  great  that  the  New  England  churches  at 
length  settled  down  on  what  was  practically  a  compromise.  The 
standing  of  the  unregenerate  members  in  the  church  was  held  to 
entitle  them  to  transmit  church  membership  and  baptism  to  their 
offspring;  but  their  non-regenerate  character  made  it  impossible 
that  they  should  become  partakers  of  the  Lord's  Supper.  Mem- 
bers of  the  church  they  were,  but  not  in  "full  communion."  At 
the  same  time,  so  solemn  was  the  privilege  of  baptism  believed  to 
be,  that  none  of  the  non-regenerate  members  of  the  church  could 
claim  it  for  their  children  without  assenting  to  the  main  truths  of 
the  Gospel  scheme  and  promising  fidelity  and  submission  to  the 
discipline  of  the  church  of  which  they  were  members;  in  the  phrase 
of  the  time,  "owning  the  covenant."  This  was  the  result  reached 
by  the  Ministerial  Convention  of  1657  and  the  Synod  of  1662.  It^ 
gave  standing  in  the  church  for  the  class  of  moral  but  not  regen- 
erate people,  it  kept  them  under  the  influence  of  Christian  obliga- 
tion and  discipline,  it  required  from  them  the  evidence  of  an 
intelligent  comprehension  of  religious  truth,  and  a  public  profes- 
sion of  willingness  to  guide  their  lives  by  Gospel  principles  and 
bring  up  their  children  in  the  fear  of  God.  But  it  demanded  no 
personal  sense  of  a  change  of  heart.  It  was  an  illogical  and  incon-  ' 
sistent   position ;    and    as    such    could    not    long   be    maintained. 

'  John  Allin  of  Dedham,  in   his  Aniviadrersions  upon  ike  Antisynodalia  Americana, 
Cambridge,  1664,  preface  p.  [ii],  says:    "We  see  evidently,  that  the  Principles  of  our  Dissenting 
Brethren  give  great  .Advantages  to  the  AntipeF<1obnJ>tists,  which  if  we  be  silent,  will  tend  much  to 
their  Encouragement  and  Encrease,  to  the  Hazard  of  our  Churches." 
17 


250  THE    HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

Greatly  modified  early  in  the  eighteenth  century,  it  was  wholly 
abandoned  in  the  nineteenth.  Its  effects  were  on  the  whole  evil, 
not  so  much  from  what  it  encouraged  worldly  men  to  do,  as  from 
its  tendency  to  satisfy  those  who  might  have  come  out  into  full 
Christian  experience  with  an  intellectual  faith  and  partial  Christian 
privileges.  It  made  a  half-way  house  between  the  world  and  full 
Christian  discipleship,  where  there  should  be  none,  and  hence  de- 
served the  nickname  given  by  its  opponents,  the  Half-Way  Cove- 
nant. It  can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  it  would  have  been  better 
for  the  New  England  churches  had  they  either  received  all  repu- 
table persons  to  baptism  and  the  Lord's  Supper,  or  rejected  all 
from  any  membership  in  the  church  who  could  not  give  evidence 
of  personal  Christian  character.'  But  the  twofold  theory  of  en- 
trance into  the  church  prevented  the  adoption  of  either  method  of 
dealing  with  the  second  generation  on  New  England  soil,  and  that 
inconsistent  theory  was  the  real  source  of  the  Half-Way  Covenant. 

The  position  formulated  in  1657  and  1662  was  reached  only 
after  a  long  discussion  and  by  a  gradual  development  of  public 
thought.  It  was  no  part  of  the  plan  of  the  founders  of  New  Eng- 
land at  their  coming.  The  class  which  was  to  m.ake  it  seem  need- 
ful was  yet  in  childhood.  Leading  theologians,  like  Hooker, 
Cotton,  Davenport,  and  Richard  Mather,  asserted  that  none  but 
children  of  "  visible  saints  "  should  be  baptized,^  and  while  they 
declared  at  the  same  time  that  the  children  of  such  saints  were 
church  members,  the  consequences  of  such  membership  by  birth 
had  not  become  apparent. 

But  it  was  not  long  before  cases  arose  in  which  this  strictness 
seemed  to  involve  undue  severity.  In  1634  a  godly  grandfather, 
a  member  apparently  of  the  Dorchester  church,  whose  son  or 
daughter  could  claim  no  regenerative  work  of  God,  desired  bap- 
tism for  his  grandchild,  since  baptism  was  the  outward  witness  to 


1  See  the  remarks  of  Leonard  Bacon,  Discourse,  in  Cont.  Eccles.  Hist.  Conn.,  New  Haven, 
iS6i,  pp.  20-22;  and  D.  T.  Fiske,  Cont.  Eccles.  Hist.  Essex  Co.,  Mass.,  Boston,  1865,  pp.  279,  280. 

-  For  Hooker's  views  see  e.  g.  Survey,  Pt.  3,  pp.  9-27 ;  Cotton,  Way  of  the  Churches,  p.  81 : 
"  Infants  cannot  claime  right  unto  Baptisme,  but  in  the  right  of  one  of  their  parents,  or  both : 
■where  neither  of  the  Parents  can  claime  right  to  the  Lords  Supper,  there  their  infants  cannot 
claime  right  to  ^<t///j>«^."  T)a.Yen^oxt,  Answer  of  the  Eiders  .  .  .  unto  A^'ine  Positions,  yp. 
61-71.     R.  Matlier,  Church-Government  (Ans.  to  5-7  of  XXXII  Quest.),  pp.  20-23. 


r.APTISM   OF    GRAXDlIIILDKEN  25  I 

that  interest  in  the  covenant  which  children  of  visible  saints  were 
held  to  possess  by  birth.  The  advice  of  the  Boston  church  was 
sought,  and  there  the  matter  was  publicly  debated,  with  a  result 
favorable  to  the  grandfather's  request.  The  teacher,  Cotton,  and 
the  two  ruling  elders,  Oliver  and  Leverett,  wrote  to  the  Dorchester 
church  as  follows:' 

"  Though  the  Child  be  unclean  where  both  the  Parents  are  Pagans  and  Infidels, 
yet  we  may  not  account  such  Paretits  for  Pagans  and  Infidels,  who  are  themselves 
baptized^  and  profess  their  belief  of  the  Fundiniental  Articles  of  the  Christian 
Faith,  and  live  without  notorious  Scandalous  Crime,  though  they  give  not  clear  evi- 
dence of  their  regenerate  estate,  nor  are  convinced  of  the  necessity  of  Church  Cove- 
nant. .  .  .  IVe  do  therefore  profess  it  to  be  the  judgement  of  our  [Boston] 
Church  .  .  .  that  the  Grand-Father  a  member  of  the  Church,  may  claim  the 
privilege  of  Baptisme  to  his  Grand-Child,  though  his  next  Seed  the  Parents  of  the 
Child  be  not  received  themselves  into  Church  Covenant."  ■ 

This  was  indeed  a  modification  of  the  original  New  England 
theory,  and  was  disapproved  in  principle  by  Hooker  and  Richard 
Mather^  within  the  next  few  years.  But  it  will  cause  no  surprise 
to  learn  that,  holding  such  views  in  1634,  Cotton  felt  able,  before 
his  death  in  1652,  to  say  of  the  offspring  of  church  members:* 

"Though  they  be  not  fit  to  make  such  profession  of  visible  faith,  as  to  admit 
them  to  the  Lords  Table,  yet  they  may  make  profession  full  enough  to  receive  them 
to  Baptisme,  or  to  the  same  estate  /shmael  stood  in  after  Circumcision." 

The  same  feeling  of  the  necessity  of  an  enlargement  of  the 
terms  of  baptism  which  characterized  Cotton  was  soon  shared  by 
other  New  England  ministers.  By  1642,  Thomas  Allen  of  Charles- 
town  argued  in  favor  of  the  extension  of  the  rite  to  the  children 
of  godly  parents  not  yet  gathered  into  church  fellowship.^  Within 
a  year  or  two  thereafter  George  Phillips  of  Watertown  expressed 
in  the  most  positive  language  the  abiding  church  membership  not 
only  of  the  immediate  offspring  of  visible  saints,  but  of  all  de- 


'  The  letter,  dated  Dec.  16,  1634,  is  preserved  in  Increase  Mather's  First  Principles  of  New 
England,  Cambridge,  1675,  pp.  2-4.  The  absence  of  the  signature  of  the  Boston  pastor,  Wilson,  is 
e.vplained  by  his  presence  at  the  time  in  England. 

2  Ibid.,  pp.  3,  4.  The  permission  was  coupled  with  the  conditions  that  the  grandfather  un- 
dertake the  education  of  the  child,  and  that  the  parents  make  this  no  occasion  for  neglect. 

3  See  p.  250,  note  2.  » 

*  First  Principles,  p.  6.  The  letter  is  without  date.  Other  examples  of  Cotton's  views  will 
be  found  in  the  preface  to  the  Propositions  of  1662,  on  a  later  page. 

'  Teacher  at  Charlestown  1639-1651.  The  passage  is  found  in  a  letter  to  Cotton  quoted  in 
Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  N.  E.,  1 :  480. 


252  THE    HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

scended  from  them;  and  though  he  does  not  speak  in  the  passage 
of  their  claim  to  baptism,  his  words  leave  little  doubt  as  to  what 
his  attitude  would  have  been/  In  1645  Richard  Mather  of  Dor- 
chester wrote  as  follows,'^  replying  to  the  question: 

"  When  those  that  were  baptized  in  Infancy  by  the  Covenant  of  their  Parents 
being  come  to  Age,  are  not  yet  found  fit  to  be  received  to  the  Lords  Table,  although 
they  be  married  and  have  Children,  whether  are  those  their  Children  to  be  baptized 
or  no;  " — "  I  propound  to  Consideration  this  Reason  for  the  Affirmative,  viz.  That 
the  Children  of  such  Parents  ought  to  be  baptized  :  the  Reason  is,  the  Parents  as 
they  were  born  in  the  Covenant,  so  they  still  continue  therein,  being  neither  cast  out, 
nor  deserving  so  to  be,  and  if  so,  why  should  not  their  Children  be  baptized,  for  if 
the  Parents  be  in  Covenant,  are  not  the  Children  so  likewise?  .  .  .  If  it  be  said  the 
Parents  are  not  Conjinned  members,  nor  have  yet  been  found  fit  for  the  Lords  Table, 
I  conceive  this  needs  not  to  hinder  their  Infants  from  Baptisme  so  long  as  they, 
I  mean  the  Parents  do  neither  renounce  the  Covenant,  nor  doth  the  Church  see  just 
Cause  to  Cast  them  out  from  the  same." 

In  view  of  the  declarations  just  cited,  it  is  no  wonder  that  the 
Massachusetts  General  Court,  in  its  call  for  the  S3'nod  of  1646-8, 
was  moved  to  say  that  in  regard  to  "baptisme,  &:  y^  p'sons  to  be 
received  thereto,"  "y*  apphensions  of  many  p'sons  in  y^  country 
are  knowne  not  a  little  to  differ ; "  and  that,  though  the  majority 
of  churches  baptized  only  the  offspring  of  visible  saints,  there 
were  some  who  were  much  inclined  to  extend  the  application  of 
the  rite  "as  thinking  more  liberty  and  latitude  in  this  point  ought 
to  be  yielded  then  hath  hitherto  bene  done."' 

These  views  were  by  no  means  confined  to  Massachusetts. 
Henry  Smith  of  Wethersfield,  Conn.,  wrote  to  Richard  Mather, 
under  date  of  August  23,  1647:" 

"We  are  at  a  Loss  in  our  parts  about  members  Children,  being  received  into 
Communion,  because  it  is  undetermined,  in  the  extent  of  it,  at  the  Synod,''  our 
thoughts  here  are  that  the  promise  made  to  the  Seed  of  Confederates,  Gen.  17, 
takes  in  all  Children  of  Confederating  Parents." 

Samuel   Stone,  the  teacher   of   the   Hartford  church,  sympa- 


1  Pastor  at  Watertovvn  1630  to  his  death,  July,  1644.  His  views  are  expressed  in  A  Reply  to 
a  Confutation  of  some  Grounds  for  Infant  Baptism  ;  as  also.  Concerning- the  fortii  of  a  Church, 
put  forth  against  vie  by  one  T.  Lamb,  London,  1645.  Quotations  were  made  in  the  Preface  to 
the  Propositions  of  1662,  p.  x.     See  later  page  of  this  work. 

*  2  In  a  manuscript  entitled  A  plea  for  the  Churches  of  Christ  in  New-Etigland,  quoted  b- 
Increase  Mather,  First  Principles,  pp.  10,  11. 

3  For  the  whole  of  this  valuable  statement,  see  ante,  pp.  168-171. 

^  Pastor  at  Wethersfield  1641-1648.     His  letter  is  in  I.  INIather,  First  Principles,  p.  24. 

5  The  Cambridge  Synod  was  still  in  being,  having  just  adjourned  for  the  second  time. 


DEVELOPMENT   OF   HALF-WAY   VIEWG  253 

thizcd  "with    his   Wethersfield    neighbor,'    and    John    Warhani    of 
Windsor,  was  of  the  same  mind.''' 

Nor  was  Plymouth  colony  without  its  share  of  advocates  for 
the  larger  practice.  Ralph  Partridge  of  iXixbury,  one  of  the 
three  ministers  appointed  to  draw  up  a  platform  for  the  consider- 
ation of  the  Cambridge  Synod,'  inserted  the  following  statement 
in  the  form  which  he  laid  before  that  body  in  1648:'' 

"The  persons  unto  whom  the  Sacrament  of  Baptisme  is  dispensed  (and  as  we 
conceive  ought  to  be)  are  such  as  being  of  years,  and  converted  from  their  Sins  to  the 
Faith  of  Jesus  Christ,  do  joyn  in  Communion  and  Fellowship  with  a  particular  visi- 
ble Church,  as  also  the  children  of  such  Parents  or  Parent,  as  having  laid  hold  of  the 
Covenant  of  grace  (in  the  judgement  of  Charity)  are  in  a  visible  Covenanf,  with  his 
Church  and  all  their  Seed  after  them  that  cast  not  off  the  Covenant  of  God  by  some 
Scandalous  and  obstinate  going  on  in  Sin." 

A  similar  position  was  advocated  by  Richard  Mather  in  the 
form  of  the  Platform  presented  by  him.^  These  views  were  cham- 
pioned in  the  Synod  by  some  influential  members,  and  had  the 
support  of  a  majority;  but  were  omitted  from  the  final  draft  of 
the  Platform  owing  to  the  opposition  of  a  few  led,  it  would  seem, 
by  Rev.  Charles  Chauncy." 

It  must  have  been  plain  by  1650  in  what  direction  the  tide  was 
running,  and  it  could  not  be  long  before  some  church  would  begin 
to  practice  what  so  many  eminent  divines  approved.  Commenda- 
tions of  the  larger  view  continued.  The  saintly  Thomas  Shepard 
of  Cambridge  declared  himself  in  its  favor  just  before  his  death 
in  1649/     Ey  *hat  time.  Cotton  was  willing  even  to  baptize  adopt- 


1  Letter  to  R.  Mather,  June  6,  1650,  First  Principles^  p.  9,  in  which  he  affirms  "  that 
Children  of  Church  vieitibcrs  have  right  to  Church  membership  by  virtue  of  their-  Fathers 
Covenant  ....  Hence,  i.  If  they  be  presented  to  a  Church,  and  Claim  their  Interest,  they 
cannot  be  denyed,"  and  speaks  as  if  he  had  long  been  of  this  mind. 

'^  Ibid.,  Warham  changed  his  mind  later  on  this  question.  As  early  as  1630,  he  told  Fuller 
of  Plymouth,  that  the  visible  "church  may  consist  of  a  mi.xed  people,  godly  and  openly  un- 
godly." He  favored  the  Half-Way  Covenant,  and  introduced  its  use  into  his  own  church  in  Jan- 
uary, 1658.  In  March,  1665,  he  announced  that  he  had  been  convinced  that  he  was  in  error,  and 
the  practice  was  abandoned  by  the  church  till  1668.  See  /  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  III  :  74; 
Walker,  Hist.   First  Ch.,  Hart/oni,  pp.  189,  190. 

3  See  ante,  p.  175. 

*  First  Principles,  p.  23. 

6  See  ante,  p.  224,  for  Mather's  own  words. 

•  See  ante,  p.  181,  and  Preface  to  Propositions  of  1662,  p.  xii  post.  Cotton  Mather  says 
that  John  Norton  was  one  of  the  supporters  of  the  larger  view  in  the  Synod,  but  "  the  fierce  oppo- 
sitions of  one  eminent  person  caused  him  that  was  of  a. peaceable  temper  to  forbear  urging  them 
any  further."     Magnalia,  ed.  1S53-5,  I  :  291. 

"  Preface  to  Propositions  of  1662,  on  later  page  ;  First  Principles,  p.  22. 


254  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

ed  children  of  church  members,  provided  their  parents  had  been 
religiously  inclined,  and  John  Eliot'  and  probably  Richard  Mather 
were  of  the  same  opinion/  The  year  1650  saw  Samuel  Stone  of 
Hartford  fully  committed  to  the  Half-Way  Covenant  theory, 
anxious  to  have  a  new  Synod  called  which  might  introduce  uni- 
formity of  practice,  and  confident  that,  unless  some  such  meeting 
was  held  that  very  year  and  reason  to  the  contrary  given,  the  Con- 
necticut churches  would  begin  the  use  of  the  new  system.'  In 
165 1,  Peter  Prudden  of  Milford,  second  only  to  Davenport  in 
ability  among  the  ministers  of  New  Haven  colony,  declared  in 
a  letter  of  peculiar  force  of  argument  his  hearty  support  of  the 
Half-Way  Covenant  position."  Thus,  more  than  ten  years  before 
the  Synod  of  1662,  there  were  warm  advocates  of  the  larger  ap- 
plication of  baptism  among  the  chief  religious  leaders  of  each  of 
the  New  England  colonies,  and  the  affirmation  is  within  the 
bounds  of  probability  that  even  then  the  weight  of  opinion  among 
ministers  in  every  colony,  with  the  possible  exception  of  New 
Haven,  was  on  that  side.  But  while  this  was  true  of  the  elders 
of  the  churches  as  a  body,  there  was  a  considerable  degree  of  op- 
position to  the  new  theories  among  the  brethren  of  the  churches. 
Just  how  much  it  is  impossible  to  say,  but  there  is  reason  to 
believe  that  the  pastors  were  more  ready  to  welcome  the  larger 
practice  than  the  churches.^  The  ministers  were,  on  the  whole, 
keenly  alive  to  the  danger  of  losing  hold  of  a  large  class  of  the 
population;  their  pastoral  labors  lent  weight  to  those  practical 
arguments  which  had  much  to  do  in  convincing  men  of  the  de- 
sirability of  the  Half-Way  Covenant;  while  in  almost  every  church 
enough  sticklers  for  the  old  ways  would  be  found  to  make  any- 
thing like  unanimous  action  difficult  to  obtain  in  abandoning  what 


1  The  Apostle  to  the  Indians,  teacher  of  the  Roxbury  church. 

^  First  PrincipleSy  pp.  5,  6. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  g.     Letter  of  June  6,  1650. 

^  Preface  to  Profositiojis  of  1662,  pp.  .\i,  .xii,  on  later  page  of  this  work  ;  a  selection  is  given  in 
First  Principles,  pp.  25,  26. 

5  Cotton  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  H  :  3",  312,  says,  speaking  of  the  state  of  affairs 
after  1662,  "Very  gradual  was  the  procedure  of  the  churches  to  exercise  that  church-care  of  their 
children,  which  the  synodical  propositions  had  recommended  ;  for,  though  the  pastors  were  generally 
principled  for  it,  yet,  in  very  many  of  the  churches,  a  number  of  brethren  were  so  stifHy  and  fiercely 
set  the  other  way,  that  the  pastors  did  forbear  to  extend  their  practice  unto  the  length  of  their 
Judgment."     This  must  have  been  as  true  of  the  decade  before  1662. 


ATTITUDE    OF    THE    CHURCHES  255 

some  deemed  the  safeguards  of  church  purity.  This  fact  accounts 
for  the  slowness  with  which  the  Half-Way  Covenant  practice  was 
introduced  into  the  churches,  long  after  it  had  been  largely  ac- 
cepted by  the  ministers. 

In  what  church  the  agitation  of  this  question  as  a  practical 
issue  was  first  commenced  is  hard  to  say.  Certainly  the  matter 
was  under  discussion  at  Salem  in  1652,  and  by  1654,  if  not  earlier, 
had  resulted  in  the  acceptance  of  Half-Way  Covenant  principles. 
But  though  this  adhesion  to  the  new  views  was  reaffirmed  in  1661, 
the  opposition  of  a  few  prevented  the  actual  administration  of 
baptism  there  till  July,  1665.'  The  church  in  Dorchester,  of  which 
that  earnest  advocate  of  the  new  methods,  Richard  Mather,  was 
pastor,  discussed  the  question  in  the  opening  weeks  of  1655,  and 
with  the  result  that:^ 

"it  came  to  vote  &  by  divers  was  voted  y' they  were  members  &  that  haveinge 
children  they  should  have  y"'  baptized  if  y'"selves  did  take  hold  of  their  ffathers 
Covenant  (but  w'  that  takeing  hold  of  Covenant  is,  was  not  Clerely  agreed  upon) 
albeit  y"'selves  beinge  examinyed  were  ffound  neither  ffit  ffor  the  Lords  table  nor 
voicing  in  the  Church  but  this  &  other  thinges  seemed  strange  and  unsaffe  unto 
Divers  in  Conclusio  soe  it  was  4  Lres  were  sent  to  the  churches  of  Boston,  Rox- 
bury,  Dedham  &  Braintree  to  intimate  unto  y'"  w'  was  by  us  intended  if  in  the 
space  of  a  month  or  6  weekes  we  did  not  heare  Reasons  from  y™  against  or  y'  it 
would  be  offensive  now  y*  11,  d)  54^  there  came  3  Lres  one  fro  Boston  Dedham 
&  Roxbury  in  all  w*^^""  after  kind  and  Religious  salutations  we  ffind  .  .  .  Boston 
desires  Rather  our  fforbearance  &  declares  ther  2  votes  upo  w'  we  had  done  Dedham 
sees  not  Light  to  goe  so  farre  as  we  &  Roxbury  though  divers  of  y"  ffeare  it  might 
make  th  .  .  .  ■*  &  bring  in  time  the  Corruption  of  old  England  w'^''  we  ffled  ffrom 
yet  have  voted  that  they  see  noe  cause  to  diswade  us." 

Thus  dissuaded  on  the  whole,  the  matter  continued  one  of 
debate  for  years  at  Dorchester,^  and  it  was  not  till  January  29, 
1677,  when  Richard  Mather  had  been  more  than  seven  years  in 


1  Church  records  in  White,  N.  E.  Cong-regaiiotialisin,  pp.  49,  50,  60,  61;  First  Princi- 
ples, p.  27. 

^  Records  First  Ck.  at  Dorchester,  Boston,  1891,  pp.  164,  165. 

*  I.e.,  March  11,  1655. 

*  Illegible. 

*  See  Dorch,  Records,  pp.  -3,$,  36,  69-75.  An  illustration  of  the  diversity  of  feeling  at  Dor- 
chester is  the  exclamation  of  the  writer  in  the  church  book:  "  27  7  57  .  .  .  same  daye  Martha 
minott  p'sented  by  her  ffather  —  though  he  was  noe  memb  accordinge  to  our  church  order :  but  a 
Corruptio  Creepinge  in  as  an  harbenger  to  old  england  practice  viz.  to  make  all  members  ;  (w"^""  god 
p'vent  in  mercye."  Ibid.,  p.  168.  It  does  not  appear  that  the  child  was  baptized  till  1665,  after 
her  mother  had  been  admitted  to  full  communion  (p.  174);  but  one  can  sympathize  with  the  death- 
bed lament  of  Richard  Mather  over  his  ill-success  in  introducing  the  Half-Way  practice. 


256  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

his  grave,    that    the    Dorchester    church    adopted    the    Half-Way 

practice.' 

But   other   churches    were    meanwhile    debating    the    subject 

also.      A  letter  of  Rev.  Nathaniel  Rogers,  written   from  Ipswich, 

in  January,  1653,  declared  of  his  church :" 

"  We  are  this  week  to  meet  in  the  Church  about  it,  and  I  know  nothing  but 
we  must  speedily  fall  to  practice.  If  we  in  this  shall  be  Leaders,  I  pray  beg  wis- 
dom from  the  Father  of  Lights." 

But  the  discussions  of  that  week  dragged  on,  and  it  was  not  till 

1656,  when  Thomas  Cobbett  was  preaching  in  Rogers's  room,  that 

the  Ipswich  church  became  in  truth  the  leader  in  the  new  prac- 

'  V      tice.     Its  vote,  which  would  seem   to  be  the  first  actual  adoption 

of  the  full  system  as  the  rule  of  a  New  England  church,  is  in  part 

as  follows:^ 

"  I.  We  look  at  children  of  members  in  full  communion,  which  were  about 
[i.  e. ,  not  more  than]  fourteen  years  old  when  their  father  and  mother  joined  the 
Church,  or  have  been  born  since,  to  be  members  in  and  with  their  parents. 
.  4.  We  look  upon  it  as  the  Elder's  duty  to  call  upon  such  children,  being 
adults,  and  are  of  understanding,  and  not  scandalous,  to  take  the  covenant  sol- 
emnly before  our  Assembly.  5.  We  judge  that  the  children  of  such  adult  persons, 
that  are  of  understanding,  and  not  scandalous,  and  shall  take  the  Covenant,  shall 
be  baptized.  6.  That  notwithstanding  the  baptizing  the  children  of  such,  yet  we 
judge  that  these  adult  persons  are  not  to  come  to  the  Lord's  Supper,  nor  to  act  in 
Church  votes,  unless  they  satisfy  the  reasonable  charity  of  the  Elders  or  Church, 
that  they  have  a  work  of  faith  and  repentance  in  them."  ■* 

Naturally  this  debate  was  not  confined  to  Massachusetts. 
The  questions  raised  were  of  interest  to  the  churches  throughout 
New  England,  and  nowhere  more  than  in  Connecticut,  where  Half- 
Way  Covenant  views  had  been  advocated  by  Stone  and  Warham 
and  Smith.  It  so  happened,  also,  that  from  1653  to  1659  one  of 
the  bitterest  quarrels  in  New  England  ecclesiastical  history  raged 
at  Hartford,  and  spite  of  the  efforts  of  the  ministers  and  legisla- 
ture of  Connecticut  and  the  advice  of  elders  from  other  colonies, 
caused  the  secession  of  a  considerable  body  from  the  Hartford 


1  Ibid.,  pp.  69-75,  vote  of  "29  11  76." 

?  The  letter  is  dated  18.  11.  1652,  i.  <?.,  Jan.  iS,  1653.     First  Principles,  pp.  23,  24. 

s  Ipswich  Ch.  Rec.  in  Felt,  Eccles.  Hist.  N.  £.,  II :  141. 

*  Notice  that  voting  is  not  a  Half-Way  Covenant  privilege.  This  reservation  is  made  equally 
clearly  in  the  Decisions  of  1657  and  1662.  The  statement  of  Prof.  Johnston  (Connecticut,  p.  227) 
that  the  Half-Way  system  "gave  every  baptized  person  a  voice  in  church  government"  is  baseless. 


THE   QUESTION   IN   CONNECTICUT  257 

church  and  the  settlement  of  Hadley,  Mass.'  This  quarrel  has  not 
infrequently  been  represented  as  the  beginning  of  the  Half-Way 
Covenant  controversy  in  New  England.  No  opinion  is  more  erro- 
neous. At  a  later  period,  from  about  1666  to  1670,  the  question 
of  baptism  tore  the  Hartford  flock,  and  at  the  latter  date  resulted 
in  its  division  for  the  second  time  and  the  formation  of  the  present 
Second  Church  in  Hartford;  but  in  the  iirst  division  baptism  was 
no  factor.  A  quarrel  between  Samuel  Stone,  the  teacher,  and  Wil- 
liam Goodwin,  the  ruling  elder,  in  regard  to  the  choice  of  a  suc- 
cessor to  the  pastorate  made  vacant  by  the  death  of  Thomas 
Hooker,  involved  the  whole  church,  and  while  essentially  a  per- 
sonal dispute,  raised  some  interesting  questions  as  to  the  relations 
of  the  officers  and  brethren  in  a  Congregational  church.  But 
while  there  is  no  evidence  that  the  extent  of  baptism  was  one  of 
the  dividing  issues  between  1653  and  1659  in  the  Hartford  church, 
this  condition  of  turmoil  existing  in  the  leading  church  in  the 
colony  very  probably  led  to  a  considerable  discussion  of  all  ques- 
tions affecting  church  procedure  throughout  the  little  common- 
wealth. It  was  rather  as  the  consequence  of  this  general  agitation 
than  of  the  special  problems  at  Hartford  that  a  petition  was  pre- 
sented to  the  Connecticut  General  Court,  at  its  session  May  15, 
1656,  by  persons  whose  names  have  not  been  preserved,  but  desir- 
ous, it  would  seem,  of  some  enlargement  of  the  terms  of  baptism. 
The  form  of  the  petition  is  unknown  to  us,  but  the  Court  voted 
that : ■ 

"  Mr.  Governo"'  [John  Webster],  Mr.  Deputy  [Thomas  Welles],  Mr.  Qohn]  Cul- 
lick  &  Mr.  Tailcoat  [John  Talcott]  are  desired  in  some  convenient  time  to  advise  w"" 
the  elders  of  this  Jurisdiction  about  those  things  y'  are  p'^sented  to  this  Courte  as 
grevances  to  severall  persons  amongst  vs  ;  (and  if  they  judge  it  nessisary,)  to  crave 
their  healpe  &  assistance  in  drawing  up  an  abstract  from  the  heads  of  those  things,  to 
be  p'^sented  to  the  Gen  :  Courtes  of  the  severall  vnited  Collonyes,  and  to  desire  an  an- 
swer thereunto  as  sone  as  conveniently  may  be."  ^ 

The  work  appointed  to  this  committee  was  duly  performed. 


>  The  story  of  this  quarrel  was  told  for  the  first  time  with  fullness  by  G.  L.  Walker, //w/oryi'y 
iAe  First  Church  in  Hart/ord,  pp.  146-175. 

*  Conn.  Records^  1 :  281. 

s  How  little  this  dispute  was  connected  with  the  quarrel  of  1653-9  in  the  Hartford  church  is 
illustrated  by  the  fact  that  Webster  and  Cullick  were  among  the  most  prominent  of  Stone's 
opponents. 


258  THE   HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

A  list  of  questions  was  drawn  up'  and  sent  to  the  General  Court 
of  Massachusetts  during  the  summer  of  1656.  Whether  the  other 
colonies  were  also  consulted,  as  the  vote  directed,  it  is  perhaps 
impossible  to  say.'  Thus  overtured,  the  Massachusetts  Court  took 
prompt  action  at  its  session  October  14,  1656,  as  follows:' 

"A  letter  from  the  Generall  Court  of  Conecticot  was  presented  to  this  Court, 
(together  w"'  seuerall  questions  of  practicall  concernment  in  the  churches,)  wherein 
they  propound  theire  desires  of  our  concurranc  w"'  them  in  desiring  the  help  of  the 
elders,  for  the  resolution  and  clearing  the  sajd  qucestions,  and  for  that  end  that  a  tjme 
and  place  of 'meeting  be  assigned  by  this  Court,  and  notice  thereof  may  be  given  to 
the  rest  of  the  colonjes,  that  they  may  haue  the  op'tunitje  to  contribute  theire  asistance 
to  this  worke.  The  Court,  considering  the  premises,  doth  order,  that  M'  Mather,'* 
M^  Allyn,5  M"-  Norton,^  M'  Thatcher,''  of  the  county  of  Suffolke,  M'  Bulkely,*  if  he 
cann  come,  M''  Chauncey,^  M""  Syms,'"  M'  Sherman,"  M""  Michells,'^  of  the  county  of 
Midlesex,  AP  Norrice,'^  M--  Ezekiell  Rogers,'-*  W  Whiting, '=  M'  Cobbet,'^  of  y"  county 
of  Essex,  be  desired  to  meet  at  Boston  the  first  fifth  day  of  June'''  next  following,  to 
conferr  and  debate  the  sajd  questions,  or  any  other  of  like  nature  that  shall  or  maybe 
propounded  to  them  by  this  Court,  either  amongst  themselves  or  w"'  such  divines  as 
shallbe  sent  to  the  sajd  meeting  from  the  other  colonjes ;  and  it  is  expected  that  the 
resolution  of  the  sajd  questions,  together  w"^  the  grounds  &  reasons  thereof,  be  pre- 
sented to  the  Generall  Court,  to  be  comunicated  and  coiiiended  to  such  of  ours  that 
want  information  therein  ;  and  it  is  heereby  ordered,  that  Robert  Turner'^  take  care  to 
provide  convenjent  entertaynement  for  the  sajd  gent"  during  theire  attendance  on  the 
sajd  meeting,  and  that  the  charges  of  those  of  this  jurisdiccon  be  defrajed  by  the 
Tresurer  ;  and  it  is  further  ordered,  that,  together  w'"*  the  letter  &  quasrjes  from  Con- 
ecticott,  a  coppy  of  this  order  be  sent  to  all  the  confoederated  colonjes,  w""  a  letter 
from  this  Court  desiring  theire  assistanc  in  this  buisnes  at  the  tjme  &  place  afore- 
sajd,  y'  the  secretary  send  a  copy  hereof,  w""  the  qucerjes,  to  one  of  the  elders  of  each 
county." 

Pursuant  to  this  order  the  secretary,  Edward  Rawson,  sent  out 
the  letters  to  the  various  colonial   governments   on   October   22, 


1  These  were  doubtless  substantially  the  XXI  Questions  answered  by  the  Assembly  at  Boston 
in  1657.  The  list  given  by  Trumbull,  ///si.  Coiiii.,  I:  302,  303,  is  an  error.  It  really  belongs  in 
1666.     See  Conn.  Records^  II:  54,  55. 

"^  The  letter  of  the  New  Haven  Court  in  reply  to  that  of  the  Massachusetts  body,  February, 
1657,  seems  to  imply  that  they  had  not  been  directly  consulted  by  Connecticut. 

2  Records     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  III:  419;  IV:  i:  280. 

■*  Richard  Mather,  Dorchester :  all  the  names  are  those  of  ministers. 

s  John  AUin,  Dedham.  *  John  Norton,  Boston.  '  Thomas  Thacher,  Weymouth. 

8  Peter  Bulkeley,  Concord  ;  nearly  74  years  old. 

8  Charles  Chauncy,  Pres.  Harvard  Coll.  1654-1672.         '<•  Zechariah  Symmes,  Charlestown. 
11  John  .Sherman,  Watertown.  i^  Jonathan  Mitchell,  Cambridge. 

13  Edward  Norris,  Salem.  ^*  Of  Rowley. 

'^  Samuel  Whiting,  Lynn.  '*  Thomas  Cobbett, Ipswich. 

1'  /.  6'.,  June  4,  1657. 
IS  Robert  Turner  was  one  of  the  licensed  innkeepers  of  Boston.     See  Mass.  Records,  passiin. 


CALL   or   THE   ASSEMBLY    OF    1657  259 

1656.'  That  to  New  Haven  was  thirty-six  days  on  its  way.''  Their 
reception  by  the  three  lesser  colonies  was  various.  Plymouth 
appears  to  have  taken  no  action.  Connecticut  of  course  responded 
favorably,  the  Massachusetts  Court  had  carried  into  effect  the 
Connecticut  request,  and  on  February  26,  1657,  the  Court  of  Con- 
necticut voted: ^ 

"This  Court  doth  order  that  Mr.  Warham,''  Mr.  Stone,*  Mr.  Ulinman*  6v;  Mr. 
Russell'  bee  desired  to  meet,  the  first  fifth  day  of  June  next,  at  Boston,  to  conferre  & 
debate  the  questions  formerly  sent  to  the  Bay  Court,  or  any  other  of  the  like  nature 
that  shall  bee  p''pounded  to  them  by  that  Court  or  by  o""  owne,  w""  such  divines  as 
shall  bee  sent  to  the  said  meeting  from  the  other  Collonies;  and  that  they  make  a  returne 
to  the  Gen:  Court  of  the  issue  of  their  consultations." 

At  the  same  time  a  proposition  to  send  twelve  questions  in 

addition,  the  nature  of  which  it  is   now  impossible  to  determine, 

was  defeated.**     With  regard  to  provision  for  the  expenses  of  their 

representatives  the  Court  of  Connecticut  was  no  less  careful  than 

that  of  Massachusetts  : " 

"It  is  also  ordered,  that  the  Deputies,  w"*  the  Deacons  of  the  Church  in  each 
towne,  take  care  that  their  said  Eld"  bee  comely  &  honorably  attended  &  suited  w"" 
necessaries  in  their  journey  to  the  Bay  and  home  againe  ;  and  that  the  same,  w""  their 
p'portion  of  charge  in  the  Bay,  during  their  abode 'there  vpon  this  seruice,  bee  dis- 
charged by  the  Treasurer;  and  also  the  Deputies  are  impowered  to  presse  horses  (if 
need  bee,)  for  the  end  aforesaid." 

And,  not   content  with  providing  for  the    material  wants  of 

the  Assembly,   the  Court  ordered  that   Wednesday,  March    25th, 

should  :  '" 

"  bee  obserued  &  kept  a  day  of  publicke  humilliation,  by  all  the  Plantations  in  this 
[Connecticut]  Jurisdiction,  to  seeke  the  presence,  guidance  &  direction  of  the  Lord  in 
reference  to  the  Synnod." 

Two  days  before  the  Court  of  Connecticut  had  given  its  favor- 
able response  to  the  overtures  from  Massachusetts,  the  legislative 
body  of  New  Haven  colony  had  considered  the  same  proposition 
and  come  to  exactly  opposite  conclusions.  In  that  colony  the 
influence  of  John  Davenport,  the  pastor  of  the  New  Haven  church, 
was  dominant  and  was   set  counter   to  the   Half-Way  Covenant 


•  New  Haven  Records,  II :  196.  ^  //,i,f, 

3  Conn.  Records,  1 :  288.  *  Ji)hn  Warham,  Windsor ;  all  were  ministers. 

"  Samuel  Stone,  Hartford.  *  Richard  Blinman,  New  London. 

'  John  Russell,  Wcthcrsficld.   •  *■  Conn.  Records,  I  :  288. 

*  Ibid.,  p.  289.  >"  Itid.,  p.  293. 


26o  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

theories.  It  was  natural,  therefore,  that  when  the  letter  from 
Massachusetts  was  read  to  the  Court  at  New  Haven  on  February 
24,  1657,'  and  "the  help  of  such  elders  as  were  present"  was  taken, 
that  colony  should  refuse  to  have  part  in  the  proposed  Assembly. 
Their  declinature  was  set  forth  in  a  long  letter  signed  by  their 
governor,  Theophilus  Eaton,  and  addressed  to  the  Massachusetts 
Court. ^  They  breathe  not  a  little  jealousy  of  their  Connecticut 
neighbors,  and  hold  that  the  Connecticut  Court  in  dealing  wMth  its 
petitioners  should  have  imitated  the  good  example  of  Massachu- 
setts as  illustrated  in  the  summary  treatment  of  Child  and  his 
associates  in  1646.  They  are  fearful  that  a  synod  may  bring  in 
results  of  which  they  could  not  approve,  but  which  they  would  find 
it  hard  to  resist.'  They  are  especially  suspicious  of  the  motives  of 
the  Connecticut  petitioners,  who,  they  tell  the  Massachusetts 
Court,  they :  ^ 

"  heare  .  .  .  are  very  confident  they  shall  obteyne  great  alterations,  both  in 
ciuill  gouernm'  and  in  church  discipline,  and  that  some  of  them  haue  procured  or 
hyred  one  as  their  agent  to  maintayne  in  writing,  (as  is  conceived)  that  parishes  in 
England,  consenting  to  and  continewing  their  meetings  to  worship  God,  are  true 
churches,  and  such  persons  comeing  ouer  hether,  (w'hout  holding  forth  any  worke 
of  faith,  &c. ,)  haue  right  to  all  church  priveledges." 

For  their  own  part  the  New  Haven  representatives  counsel  a 
firm  adherence  to  the  old  ways.     They  :  ^ 

' '  hope  the  generall  courts,  who  haue  framed  their  ciuill  polity  and  lawes  according 
to  the  rules  of  Gods  most  holy  word,  and  the  elders  and  churches  who  haue  gathered 
and  received  their  discipline  out  of  the  same  holy  scriptures,  will  vnanimously  im- 
prove their  power  and  indeavours  to  preserue  the  same  in\yolably." 

And  finally  they  plead  the  recent  removal  or  death  of  a  number 
of  their  ministers  as  an  excuse  for  non-representation  in  the  Assem- 
bly, a  representation  which,  it  is  easy  to  see,  they  were  anxious  to 


1  iWw  Haven  Records^  II  :  195  ;  the  date  is  given  in  the  old  style  as  "  24""  12*  m",  1656." 

2  Ibid.,  196-198.     Dated  Feb.  25,  1656  [7]. 

3  "  Though  they  [i.  e.  the  N.  H.  Court]  approved  y»'  readines  to  afford  help  when  the  case 
requires  it,  yet  theinselues  conceive  that  the  elders  of  Connecticote  colony,  w'h  due  assistance  from 
their  court,  had  bine  fully  sufficient  to  cleare  and  maintayne  the  truth  and  to  suppress  the  boldness 
of  such  petition's,  (according  to  a  good  president  you  gaue  y«  colony,  some  yeares  since,  in  a  case 
not  much  differring,)  w'hout  calling  a  synod,  or  any  such  meeting,  woh  in  such  times  may  prove 
dangerous  to  y«  puritie  and  peace  of  these  churches  and  colonies."  For  the  case  of  Child  see  ante, 
pp.  164-181. 

■»  Ibid.  =  Ihid.,  197. 


MEETING   OF    THE   ASSEMBLY,    1657  261 

avoid.  In  order,  however,  that  there  should  be  no  mistake  regard- 
ing their  conservative  position  on  the  points  at  issue,  they  accom- 
panied their  letter  by  a  formal  reply  to  the  proposed  Questions, 
drawn  up  by  John  Davenport,  and  bearing  the  approval  of  the 
Court, —  a  document  designed  for  presentation  to  the  Assembly, 
chould  it  be  held.' 

The  refusal  of  New  Haven  and  the  non-action  of  Plymouth 
had  no  effect  on  the  meeting  of  the  Ministerial  Assembly.^  Most 
of  the  thirteen  ministers  chosen  by  Massachusetts  and  the  four 
representatives  of  Connecticut  came  together  at  Boston,  June  4, 
1657,  and  their  debates  lasted  till  the  19th  of  the  month.'  Of 
the  course  of  discussion  and  the  events  of  the  meeting  we  know 
nothing.  The  result  could  not  have  been  unanimous,  if  Chauncy, 
later  the  champion  of  the  conservative  view,  was  present.  But 
there  was  doubtless  substantial  agreement  in  the  conclusions  at 
which  the  assembly  arrived.  The  membership  of  the  children  of 
church  members  was  affirmed.  That  membership  was  declared 
to  be  personal  and  permanent,  and  sufficient  to  entitle  the  mem- 
ber by  birth,  even  though  not  personally  regenerate,  to  trans- 
mit membership  and  a  right  to  baptism  to  his  children,  on  con- 
dition of  an  express  acknowledgment  on  his  part  of  at  least  an 
intellectual  faith  and  a  desire  to  submit  to  all  the  covenant  obli- 
gations implied  in  membership.  Yet  though  this  membership  is 
complete,  as  far  as  it  goes,  it  is  not  sufficient  to  admit  to  full 
communion  or  to  a  vote  in  church  affairs.  For  these  further 
privileges  a  profession  of  personal  regeneration  is  necessary. 
The  result  was  drawn  up  in  the  form  of  answers  to  each  of  the 
twenty-one  questions,^  written  in  a  clear  and  often  forcible  style; 
and  was  from  the  pen  of  Richard  Mather  of  Dorchester.^ 


1  Ibid.,  198. 

"^  This  meeting,  even  in  the  action  of  the  legislatures  of  the  time,  is  loosely  called  a  "  Synod." 
It  lacked  however  the  essential  element  of  representatives  of  the  churches  to  make  it  a 
properly  constituted  synod.     See  Cambridge  Platform,  antt\  p.  234. 

3  The  Result  is  thus  dated.  Regarding  the  attendance  Nathanael  Mather  says:  "There 
being  but  about  twenty  called  .  .  .  and  of  those  twenty,  two  or  three  met  not  with  the  rest." 
Preface  to  A  nsivcr  to  .V.W  Questions,  on  later  page. 

*  Large  extracts  are  given  at  the  conclusion  of  this  chapter. 

*  See  Dexter,  Congregationalisin  as  seen:  Ribl.,  p.  287.  The  result  was  never  ofTicially 
published.  A  copy  was  taken  over  to  England,  probably  by  Increase  Mather,  and  published  at 
London,  1659,  with  a  preface  by  Nathanael  Mather. 


263  THE   HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

The  Assembly  having  fully  accepted  the  Half- Way  Covenant 
principles,  its  members  went  to  their  homes.  Whether  the  con- 
clusions were  presented  to  the  Massachusetts  Court,  as  directed 
in  the  call,  it  is  impossible  to  say.  No  action  regarding  them  is 
entered  in  the  Records  of  that  commonwealth.  But  in  Connecti- 
cut their  reception  was  noted  as  follows:' 

' '  A  true  coppy  of  the  Counsells  answere  to  seuerall  questions  sent  to  the  Mas- 
sachusets  from  o'"  Generall  Court,  being  p''sented  to  this  Court,  signed  by  the  Reuer- 
end  Mr.  Sam  :  Stone,  in  the  name  of  the  rest  of  the  Counsel!,  They  doe  order  that 
coppies  should  goe  forth  to  the  seu''all  Churches  in  this  CoUony  as  speedily,  &  if 
any  exceptions  bee  against  any  thing  therein,  by  any  Church  that  shall  haue  the 
consideration  thereof,  the  Court  desires  they  would  acquaint  the  next  Gen  :  Court 
in  Hartford,  in  Octo'' :  that  so  suitable  care  may  bee  had  for  their  solution  &  satis- 
faction." 

Yet  though  the  churches  were  thus  urged  and  though  the 
church  at  Windsor,  if  no  other,  began  practicing  the  recommenda- 
tions of  the  Assembly  on  January  31,  1658,^  no  "exceptions"  are 
known  to  have  been  presented  to  the  General  Court.  That  this  was 
the  case  was  not  due  to  any  such  degree  of  unanimity  in  favor  of  the 
newer  views  among  the  brethren  of  the  churches  of  Connecti- 
cut as  existed  among  the  ministers.  It  is  scarcely  probable  that 
other  churches  immediately  followed  the  example  of  AVindsor.^ 
Public  attention  in  Connecticut  was  diverted  from  the  baptismal 
question  by  the  aggravated  form  which  the  dispute  in  the  Hart- 
ford Church  had  assumed,  and  by  the  fact  that  the  quarrel  had 
provoked  a  similar  personal  disagreement  between  a  portion  of 
the  Wethersfield  church  and  its  minister,  John  Russell."  This 
protracted  controversy,  in  which  baptism  was  not  a  prime  fac- 
tor, issued  in  1659  and  1660,  in  the  removal  of  ex-Gov.  John 
Webster,  William  Goodwin,  the  ruling  elder  of  the  Hartford  church, 
Rev.  John  Russell,  and  other  persons  of  prominence  in  the  com- 
munity to  Hadley,  Mass.     But  though  public  attention  was  drawn 

'  Conn.  Records,  1 :  302,  Aug.  12,  1657. 

"  Church  Records,  in  'Si'CAe.%  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,  New  York,  1859,  p.  172. 

3  As  late  as  1666,  John  Davenport  was  able  to  affirm  that,  beside  the  churches  in  what  had 
been  New  Haven  colony  and  at  Stratford  and  Norwalk,  Farmington,  "the  sounder  parte  of  Wind- 
sor," and,  he  thinks,  Norwich  favored  the  old  way.  3  Coll.  Mass.  Hist.  Soc,  X:  60.  The  Half- 
Way  Covenant  was  probably  first  used  at  Hartford  soon  after  1666.  Trumbull,  Hist.  Conn., 
1 :  471,  fell  into  the  great  error  of  holding  that  the  system  was  not  introduced  into  practice  in 
Conn,  till  1696. 

*  See  Conn.  Records,  1:319;  Trumbull,  Hist.  Conn.,  T:  309,  310. 


CONTINUED    DIVISION    OF    FEELING  263 

aside  for  a  time,  the  Half-Way  Covenant  views  steadily  won 
ground  in  Connecticut,  and  when  the  controversy  reappeared  the 
opponents  in  the  churches  were  clearly  in  the  minority.' 

In  Massachusetts  a  similar  division  of  sentiment,  greater  by 
far  among  the  brethren  than  among  the  pastors  of  the  churches, 
probably  prevented  any  immediate  action  favorable  to  the  Half- 
Way  Covenant  system  from  the  General  Court.  Discussion  con- 
tinued, and  brought  with  it  danger  of  serious  division.  The  sit- 
uation was  made  more  critical  when  the  Restoration,  in  1660, 
brought  into  power  in  England  the  party  hostile  to  the  New 
England  church-way.^  It  seemed  more  than  ever  desirable  that 
uniformity  of  practice  should  prevail;  and  the  civil  power,  which 
had  taken  the  initiative  in  securing  the  decisions  of  1648  and 
1657,  once  more  interfered.  The  Assembly  of  1657  had  been 
a  mere  meeting  of  at  most  a  score  of  ministers.  I'he  General 
Court  of  Massachusetts  determined  to  call  a  proper  Synod,  com- 
posed of  all  the  ministers  and  the  representatives  of  all  the 
churches  in  the  colony.  Its  action  would  not  affect  Connecticut, 
New  Haven,  or  Plymouth,  save  by  example,  since  these  colonies 
were  not  asked  to  share  in  the  Synod ;  but  for  Massachusetts 
it  was  hoped  the  action  would  be  definitive.  The  prime  matter 
to  be  settled  was  that  problem  of  baptism  which  the  Cambridge 
Synod  of  1646-8  had  evaded,  and  which  the  Assembly  of  1657 
had  answered  so  fully  in  the  spirit  of  the  Half-Way  Covenant. 
Accordingly,  on  December  31,  1661,  the  Massachusetts  Court  is- 
sued this  sharp  and  peremptory  order:  ^ 

"  This  Court,  hauing  taken  into  consideration  that  there  are  seiierall  questions  & 
doubts  yet  depending  in  the  churches  of  this  jurisdiction  concerning  seuerall  prac- 
ticall  poynts  of  church  disciplyne,  doe  therefore  order  &  hereby  desire,  that  the 
churches  aforesajd  doe  send  theire  messengers  of  elders  &  brethren  to  Boston  the 
2"*    Twesday  of   the  first  moneth,'*  then  &  there  to  discusse  &  declare  what  they 


1  The  year  1657  saw  a  curious  limitation  of  the  franchise  in  Connecticut,  the  causes  of  which 
are  not  very  evident.  (Conn.  Records^  I  :  293 :"  This  Court  doth  order,  that  by  admitted  inhabi- 
tants, specified  in  the  7th  Fundamental!  [of  the  constitution  of  1639],  are  meant  only  housholders 
that  are  one  &  twenty  yeares  of  age,  or  haue  bore  office,  or  haue  30/.  estate.")  But  its  connection 
with  the  Half-W^ay  discussion,  if  any,  is  not  apparent.  See  also  Andrews,  River  Towns  0/  Con- 
necticut, pp.  85-89. 

2  See  Palfrey,  Hist.  N.  E.,  II  :  490. 
^Records    .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  W  -.2  :  ^i. 
*  I.e.,  March  11,  1662. 


264  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

shall  judge  to  be  the  minde  of  God,  revealed  in  his  word,  concerning  such  ques- 
tions as  shall  be  propounded  to  them  by  order  of  this  Court  referring  to  church 
orders  as  aforesajd,  and  that  the  seuerall  churches  take  care  to  make  due  provition 
for  the  messengers  by  them  sent. 

This  Court  doe  further  order,  as  a  meete  expedient  for  the  furtheranc  of 
th'  ends  proposed  in  calling  a  synod  to  be  kept  by  the  messengers  of  all  y^ 
churches  in  this  jurisdiction  the  2''  Twesday  in  March  next,  that  the  neighbor- 
ing elders,  w""  as  much  convenient  speed  as  may  be,  doe  meete  together  &  con- 
sider of  such  questions,  besides  what  is  here  vnder  proposed,  as  they  shall  judge 
necessary  to  be  then  &  there  discussed  for  the  selling  of  peace  &  trueth  in  these 
churches  of  Christ,  &  make  theire  returne  w"'  as  much  convenient  speede  as  may 
be  to  y''  Gou'no''  or  secretary,  who  is  to  speede  away  a  copie  thereof,  w""  the  Gen- 
erall  Courts  order,  to  the  seuerall  churches,  requiring  them  to  send  theire  messen- 
gers to  attend  the  sajd  meeting." 

The  hasty  gathering  of  the  ministers  of  Boston  and  the  adja- 
cent towns,  thus  peremptorily  summoned,  met  at  once,  and  added 
to  the  problem  of  baptism,  which  the  Court  had  in  mind,  a  second 
question,  regarding  councils  and  the  mutual  relations  of  the 
churches,  for  the  consideration  of  the  Synod.  The  Court  recorded 
the  two  subjects  for  discussion  on  the  same  page  on  which  it  min- 
uted the  call  for  the  deliberative  body: ' 

Quaest  i.     Who  are  the  subjects  of  baptisme. 

Qutest  2.  Whither,  according  to  the  word  of  God,  there  ought  to  be  a  consco- 
ciation  of  churches,  &  what  should  be  y*^  manner  of  it. 

This  last  question  was  returned  to  y*'  secretary  by  y^  elders. 

Thus  issued  by  the  civil  authorities  of  the  commonwealth,  the 

call  for  the  Synod  went  forth  to  the  Massachusetts  churches.     Its 

reception  in  them  as  a  whole  may  perhaps  be  judged  from  the 

records  of  the  Salem  church^ — 

"  On  the  26th  of  12th  month, ^  being  the  Sabbath  day,  was  read  an  order  from  the 
Gen.  Court,  for  calling  of  a  Synod,  this  Church  (as  the  rest  of  the  Churches  in  the 
Colony)  being  desired  to  send  their  messengers  of  Elders  and  brethren  to  Boston  on 
the  loth  of  the  ist  month"*  [etc].     ...     It  was  left  unto  consideration  till  the 


1  Ihid.  This  paragraph  immediately  follows  the  call  quoted  above,  though  of  course  a  day 
or  two  must  have  intervened  between  the  two  votes  to  allow  for  a  meeting  of  the  ministers  of  the 
Boston  vicinage,  which  the  second  vote  implies  had  already  taken  place.  The  explanation  is  in 
the  fact  that  the  arrangement  of  the  records  of  business  at  any  particular  meeting  of  the  Court  was 
seldom  strictly  chronological.  See  the  editor's  remarks  in  the  prefaces  to  various  volumes  of  the 
Records. 

2  White,  N.  E.  Congregationalism^  p.  53. 

3  This  date  is  an  error.  It  should  be  Jan.  26,  1662,  a  Sunday;  Feb.  26,  as  here  given,  was 
Wednesday. 

^  The  day  mentioned  in  the  call  falls  on  March  11  and  not  the  loth. 


MEETING   OF    THE   SYNOD,    1 662  265 

Lord's  day  following,  when  Major  Hawthorne,   Mr.   Bartholmew,  and   the   Pastor' 
were  chosen  to  go  to  the  Synod  at  the  time  appointed." 

The  second  Tuesday  in  March,  1662,  saw,  therefore,  the  com- 
ing together  in  the  meeting-house  of  the  First  Church"  in  Boston 
of  more  than  seventy  representatives'  of  the  Massachusetts 
churches.  We  know  nothing  in  detail  of  the  organization  of  the 
body,  nor  are  we  able  to  identify  more  than  a  few  of  those  who 
were  probably  present  as  actually  there.''  It  has  been  said,  but 
the  statement  lacks  positive  proof,  that  the  presiding  officer  at  the 
Sessions  was  Samuel  Whiting,  the  venerable  pastor  at  Lynn'* — a 
man  in  every  way  fitted  for  the  task.  In  the  ranks  of  the  minis- 
terial membership  were  such  lights  of  the  New  England  pulpit  as 
John  Wilson"  and  John  Norton'  of  the  First  Boston  Church,  Richard 
Mather®  of  Dorchester,  with  his  sons  Eleazer"  of  Northampton,  and 
Increase,"*  just  beginning  his  ministry  in  the  Second  Church  of  Bos- 
ton. John  Allin"  of  Dedham  was  there,  and  Zechariah  Symmes'"  of 
Charlestown;  Salem  sent  John  Higginson,''  Newbury  the  Presby- 
terianly  inclined  Thomas  Parker."  From  Cambridge  came  the 
venerable  Charles  Chauncy,'^  president  of  Harvard  College;  and 
the  young,  gifted  Jonathan  Mitchell,"  pastor  of  the  Cambridge 
church;  with  them,  also,  was  John  Mayo,"  of  the  Second  Boston 


1  About  this  proportion  of  two  representatives  of  the  brethren  to  each  minister  must  have 
been  general,  since  all  the  ministers  then  in  regular  service  in  the  colony  numbered  only  34,  of 
whom,  judging  from  the  usual  history  of  Synods,  some  must  have  been  absent,  and  the  total  attend- 
ance was  "above  seventy." 

2  Dexter,  in  Cong.  Quart.,  IV:  274. 

3  Ibid.,  from  Mitchell,  Answer  [to  I.  Mather]  Apologetical  Preface,  p.  3. 

<  A  list,  nearly  complete,  of  those  who  would  be  entitled  to  a  place  in  the  Synod  as  ministers 
is  given  by  De.xter,  Cong.  Quart.,  IV:  274. 

*  Dexter,  Ibid.  Drake,  History  of  Boston,  Boston,  1852-6,  1 :  361.  His  biography  is  in  the 
Magnalia,  ed.   1853-5,  I:  501-511.     Perhaps  a  hint  of  this  is  contained  in   Thompson's   elegiac 

verses  on  Whiting,  Ibid., 

"  Profoundest  judgment,  with  a  meekness  rare, 
Preferr'd  him  to  the  Moderator's  chair,"  etc. 
"  Records    .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  IV:  2 :  60. 

'  Dexter,  Cong.  Quart.,  IV:  274,  omits  Norton  from  his  list  of  those  possibly  present.     He 
returned  from  England,  however,  in  time  to  take  an  active  part  in  the  closing  session.     See  Letter 
of  Increase  Mather  to  John  Davenport,  in  Hutchinson,  Hist.  Mass.  Bay,  ed.  1765,  1 :  224. 
8  Records    .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  Ibid.  :  Records  First  Ch.  Dorchester,  p   39. 

*  Hutchinson,  Ibid. 

">  Increase  Mather  was  a  delegate  from  his  father's  church  at  Dorchester,  Records,  etc.,  p.  39. 
11  Rec.  Mass.  Bay,  Ibid.  >=  Ibid. 

•3  White,  iV.  E.  Cong.,  p.  53.  '<  Hutchinson,  Ibid. 

1*  Ibid.     Doubtless  as  a  representative  of  the  Cambridge  church. 
i«  Mather,  Magnalia,  ed.  1853-5,  H:  99-  "  Hutchinson,  Ibid. 

18 


266  THE   HALF-WAY   COVENANT 

church.  The  gathering  included  many  from  the  rapidly  thinning 
ranks  of  the  first  generation  on  New  England  soil;  it  numbered 
also  the  brilliant  names  which  adorn  the  story  of  their  children. 
And  as  the  result  of  the  Synod  was  but  the  working  out  of  princi- 
ples inherent  in  the  Congregationalism  of  the  founders  of  New 
England,  so  the  votes  by  which  it  was  adopted  came  in  no  small 
measure  from  those  who  were  among  the  pioneers  in  the  settle- 
ment of  our  towns  and  churches. 

Of  all  who  were  present,  those  most  conspicuous  in  debate 
were  Jonathan  MitchelP  on  the  side  favoring  the  Half-Way  Cove- 
nant; and,  probably,  Pres.  Chauncy^  among  its  opponents.  To  the 
persuasive  skill  of  Mitchell,  more  than  to  any  other,  the  result  in 
1662  was  due,  and  the  form  in  which  it  was  cast  was  largely  the 
product  of  his  pen.^ 

The  Synod  which  assembled  in  March,  1662,  found  that  it  had 
a  severe  task.  At  least  eight  or  nine  of  the  seventy  present,^  and 
probably  even  more  at  the  early  sessions,^  qpposed  any  admission 
of  Half-Way  principles.  This  opposition  included  a  man  of  great 
prominence,  Pres.  Chauncy,  and  the  two  ministers  of  the  Second 
Church  in  Boston,  Mayo  and  Increase  Mather,"  the  latter  joined 
by  his  brother  Eleazer  of  Northampton.  They  made  a  force 
formidable  for  quality  if  not  for  numbers.  Thomas  Parker  of 
Newbury  was  a  Presbyterian  free-lance,  though  he  had  little  fol- 


1  Jonathan  Mitchell  was  born  in  England  in  1624,  graduated  Harvard  College  1647,  settled  at 
Cambridge  1650,  died  July  g,  1668.  Of  brilliant  powers  of  mind,  marked  piety,  and  kindly  in  spirit, 
he  was  one  of  the  most  prominent  of  the  second  generation  of  New  England  ministers.  His  biog- 
raphy is  given  by  Mather,  Magnalia,  W:  66-113.  See  also  Sibley,  Harvard  Graduates^  Cam- 
bridge, 1873,  1 :  141-157,  where  a  full  list  of  his  writings  and  ample  references  to  biographical  sources 
will  be  found. 

2  Charles  Chauncy  was  born  in  England  in  158Q,  educated  at  Cambridge,  settled  at  Ware, 
Eng.,  in  1627,  suspended  by  Laud  1635,  came  to  Plymouth,  Mass.,  1638,  and  soon  settled  at  Scituate. 
In  1654  he  became  the  second  president  of  Harvard,  an  office  which  he  retained  till  his  death,  Feb. 
ig,  1672.  For  his  biography  see  Mather,  Magnalia^  1 :  463-476  ;  Allen,  Am.  Biog.  Diet.,  ed.  1857, 
pp.  213-215. 

3  Mather,  Magnalia,  11:  gg. 

*  Mitchell,  Ansiver  to  Increase  Mather's  Apologetical  Preface,  p.  3.  "We  suppose  there 
were  not  Five  twice  told  that  did  in  any  thing  Vote  on  the  Negative."     Ibid. 

^  Chauncy  says:  "  Diverse  of  the  Messengers  [in  this  case  the  lay  messengers]  being  no  Lo- 
gitians,  and  so  unable  to  answer  Syllogismes,  and  discern  Ambiguities,  were  over-born."  Anti- 
Synodalia,  p.  5. 

*  Increase  Mather  was  of  course  not  yet  settled,  though  preaching  at  Boston.  He  sat  for 
Dorchester.  He  later  changed  his  views  through  the  influence  of  Mitchell,  and  supported  the  re- 
sult of  the  Synod,  which  his  father,  Richard  Mather,  always  approved. 


DEBATES   IX    THE    SYNOD  267 

lowing ; '  and  others  criticised  various  features  of  the  existing 
usages  of  the  churches.^  So  it  came  about  that  "  the  Synod  con- 
tinuing together  ahnost  a  fortnight,  finding  the  questions  to  be 
weighty,  and  that  divers  of  them  could  not  then  stay  longer  to- 
gether, they  adjourned  the  Synod  to  the  loth  of  the  4th  month 
next."' 

The  session  thus  suspended  was  resumed  on  June  loth;  but 
Avas  once  more  adjourned,  this  time  to  September  loth/  Soon 
after  the  close  of  the  second  session  Eleazer  Mather  had  written  to 
John  Davenport  of  New  Haven, ^  and  that  champion  of  the  older 
method  was  stirred,  either  by  Mather's  letter  or  the  news  of  the 
Synod's  doings  which  came  to  him  through  other  channels,  to  send 
on  in  writing  his  objections  to  the  views  of  the  majority.  This 
document,  which,  as  emanating  from  a  minister  of  another  colony, 
had  no  pertinence  in  a  Massachusetts  Synod,  Increase  Mather 
attempted  to  read  to  the  body  on  its  reassembling  in  September. 
The  opposition  of  John  Norton  of  Boston  prevented,  but  a  copy 
was  put  in  circulation  by  Increase  Mather  and  attracted  consider- 
able attention. '^ 

It  was,  we  may  suppose,  at  the  September  session  that  the 
Propositions  in  which  the  Synod  embodied  its  conclusions  took  on 
their  final  form.  Their  exact  phraseology  was  the  subject  of  much 
debate  and  was  fixed  by  the  Synod  itself  in  each  case.'  The  most 
fiercely  contested  battle  ground  was  the  fifth  Proposition,  of  which 
three  draughts  were  submitted  to  the  body.'     Against  this  Chauncy 


1  "  Mr.  Parker,  of  Newbury,  was  one  of  the  great  antagonists  of  the  congregational  way  and 
order,  though  it  not  being  the  work  of  the  present  synod,  his  many  motions,  to  consider  whether  we 
were  in  the  right  ecclesiastical  order,  were  not  attended."  E.  Mather  to  J.  Davenport,  Hutchin- 
son, 1 :  224. 

*  "  There  was  scarce  any  of  the  congregational  principles,  but  what  were  layen  at,  by  some 
or  other  of  the  assembly  ;  as  relations  of  the  work  of  grace,  power  of  voting  of  the  fraternity  in  ad- 
mission," etc.     Ibid. 

3  Salem  Ch.  Records,  in  White,  N.  E.  Congregationalism.,  p.  54.     In  each  instance  of  ad- 
journment "notice  was  given  the  [Salem]  Church." 
<  Ibid. 
'  July  4,  1662,  quoted  by  Hutchinson. 

*  Letter  of  I.  Mather  to  J.  Davenport,  Oct.  21,  1662,  quoted  in  Hutchinson,  1 :  224. 

'  "  The  Propositions  .  .  .  were  (after  much  discussion  and  consideration  from  the  Word 
of  God)  Voted  and  Concluded  by  the  Assembly  in  the  particular  terms  as  they  are  here  e.xpressed." 
Preface  to  Propositions  of  1662,  on  later  page. 

*  Chauncy  said  :  "  There  hath  been  three  expressions  of  this  proposition,  and  this  [in  the  Re- 
sult] swerves  further  off  from  Scripture  then  both  the  former."     Anti-Synodalia.,  p.  27. 


268  THE   HALF-WAY    COVENANT 

and  his  friends  energetically  labored,  since  it  granted  baptism  to 
all  children  of  persons  themselves  baptized  who  professed  an  in- 
tellectual faith,  owned  the  covenant,  and  submitted  to  church  dis- 
cipline. But  it  is  with  a  little  surprise  that  we  learn  that  the  third 
Proposition,  declaring  the  membership  by  birth  of  the  children  of 
visible  believers,  was  brought  forward  by  one  of  the  leaders  of  the 
minority,  possibly  Chauncy  himself.'  No  wonder  that  Mitchell 
could  say  of  this  proposition  "  some  think  [it]  carries  the  wJiole 
cause;''-  and  the  championing  of  this  view  of  the  status  of  the 
children  of  church  members,  while  their  right  to  bring  their  off- 
spring to  baptism  was  denied,  is  an  illustration  of  the  inconsistency 
of  the  position  taken  throughout  the  controversy  by  the  opponents 
of  the  Half-Way  Covenant,  an  inconsistency  which  gave  them  less 
weight  than  the  general  merits  of  their  criticisms  deserved.  Having 
carefully  formulated  the  Propositions  regarding  baptism,  the  Synod 
listened  to  several  readings  of  the  arguments  by  which  they  were 
supported,  and  voted  their  approbation.^ 

The  first  of  the  two  Questions  propounded  by  the  Court  hav- 
ing thus  been  disposed  of  by  a  vote  of  more  than  seven  to  one''  in 
favor  of  the  Half-Way  Covenant  system,  the  Synod  hastily '  took 
up  the  second  Question,  that  in  relation  to  "  Consociation  of 
Churches,"  or,  as  modern  usage  would  say.  Fellowship  between 
Churches.  Here  the  Synod,  wearied  with  its  work,  and  deeming 
the  query  of  comparatively  minor  importance,  did  little  more  than 
reaffirm  by  a  vote  lacking  but  one  of  unanimity,"  the  principles  laid 
down  in  the  Cambridge  Platform. 

Soon  after  the  termination  of  the  Synod,'  its  conclusions  were 
reported  to  the  Massachusetts  Court,  October  8,  1662,  by  a  com- 
mittee consisting  of  four  ministers,  John  Wilson,  Richard  Mather, 


'  "  One  of  the  chief  of  our  Dissenting  Brethren  did  propound,  and  earnestly  promote  the  third 
Proposition,"  Allin,  Aniviadversions  upon  the  Anii-Synodaliay  p.  13. 

2  Mitchell,  A  ns-wer  to  Increase  Mather's  Apologetical  Pre/ace^  p.  3,  margin. 

^  Preface  to  Propositions  of  1662,  on  later  page. 

<  Mather,  Magnalia^  ed.  1853-5,  II  :  302. 

*  "  The  Answer  to  the  second  Question  is  here  given  with  great  brevity  .  .  .  partly  by 
reason  of  great  straits  of  time,"  Preface  to  Propositions  of  1662. 

8  "There  was  a  marvellous  Unanimity;  not  one  Elder,  nor  so  much  as  two  Brethren  in  all 
that  Reverend  Assembly  dissenting."  Increase  Mather,  Disquisition  Concerning  Ecclesiastical 
Councils,  Boston,  1716,  p.  37.     Reprinted  Cong.  Qzcart.,  XII:  365. 

^  The  day  of  adjournment  is  unknown. 


RECEPTION   OF    THE   RESULT  269 

John  Allin,  and  Zechariah  Symmes.'  At  the  same  time  Increase 
Mather  presented  to  the  Court  the  objections  formulated  by  Jolin 
Davenport  which  the  Synod  had  refused  to  hear.  This  he  accom- 
panied by  a  preface  signed  by  Chauncy,  Mayo,  Eleazer  Mather,  and 
himself,  in  the  name  of  the  opposition."  The  objectors'  protest 
fared  scarcely  better  than  in  the  Synod;  the  utmost  that  the  Court 
would  grant  was  freedom  from  interference  should  the  opponents 
see  fit  to  print."  As  for  the  Propositions  voted  by  the  majority,  on 
the  other  hand:'' 

*'  the  Court,  on  their  pervsall,  judged  it  meete  to  comend  the  same  vnto  the  consider- 
ation of  all  the  churches  &  people  of  this  [Massachusetts]  jurisdiction,  and  for  that 
end  ordered  the  printing  thereof,  the  originall  copie  being  left  on  file." 

At  the  same  time  the  Court  advised  that  the  committee  should 
see  to  it:^ 

"'  that  an  epistle  or  p'face  suiteable  to  the  sajd  worke  be  forthwith  prepared,  &  sent  to 
the  presse,  &  that  M'  Mitchell  doe  take  the  ouersight  of  the  same  at  the  presse,  for 
the  p'venting  of  any  errata''*." 

The  result  was  the  publication  of  the  Propositions  by  the  press 
at  Cambridge  within  a  few  weeks,  while  before  the  conclusion  of 
the  year  an  unofficial  edition  was  brought  out  at  London,  having 
as  an  appendix  the  answer  written  by  Chauncy  and  known  as  the 
Aiiti-Synodalia  Scripta  Americana. 

These  publications  started  a  flood  of  controversial  pamphlets 
heretofore  unexampled  in  the  history  of  the  new  world,  and  which 
must  have  taxed  the  capacities  of  the  Cambridge  press,  though 
they  added  little  light  to  the  controversy.  Chauncy  and  Daven- 
port were  promptly  in  the  field  urging  that  the  new  method  would 
open  the  doors  of  the  churches  to  the  unworthy;  and  with  them 
stood  Increase  INIather  of  Boston  and  Nicholas  Street  of  New 
Haven.  Mitchell,  Allin,  and  Richard  Mather  were  as  forward  to 
defend  the  result  of  the  Synod;*  and  with  more  effect  than  is  usual 

1  Records     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  IV  ;  2  :  60. 

"  Letter  to  John  Davenport,  Hutchinson,  Hist.     .     .     .     Mass.  Bay,  I ;  224. 

'  "Some  of  the  court  would  fain  have  thrown  them  out  [the  objections]  without  readinv;,  but 
the  major  part  were  not  so  violent.  It  was  moved  they  might  be  printed.  All  the  answer  we  could 
get,  was,  tliat  we  might  do  as  we  would.  We  count  i